US Trade Representative Catherine Tay believes changing Chinas behavior on the trade deal is a thing of the past and has called for a more defensive stance on the world’s second-largest economy.
In remarks distributed before she testified before a congressional committee on Wednesday, Tai said talks with China last year on the so-called Phase one trade agreement achieved under President Donald Trump failed to achieve any progress.
“The United States has repeatedly sought commitments from China, but real change remains elusive,” Tay said in written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee.
“As we continue to keep the door open for talks with China, including phase one commitments, we also need to acknowledge the limitations of the agreement and turn the old page, which has focused on changing its behavior,” she said.
Instead, Tai said, the US strategy should defend “our values and our economic interests from the negative effects of the unfair economic policies and practices of the People’s Republic of China.”
Comments show that the world’s largest economies remain far apart on any discussions to improve trade relations after relations deteriorated to new depths following the global spread of the coronavirus in early 2020.
Since then, both countries have placed new barriers to businesses for reasons of national security.
Taye noted US efforts to become more competitive in strategic industries and work with Americas allies to make supply chains more resilient.
She also said her agency would do more to eradicate the use of forced labor, pointing to a new law aimed at limiting imports of goods from Chinas far western region of Xinjiang due to genocide against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities, according to Bloomberg, which has seen it. Al Arabiya.net”.
In early 2020, the United States and China agreed to a so-called Phase One agreement, in which the United States reduced some tariffs in exchange for Beijing’s pledge to tackle intellectual property theft and buy $200 billion in American goods during the last period.
By December, Tai had not mentioned a review of the first set of tariffs on the more than $300 billion in Chinese imports needed to prevent the agreement from expiring.
China has dismissed US criticism that it has failed to honor the purchases, arguing that it has done its best to implement the agreement despite the pandemic, global economic recession and supply chain disruptions.
Beijing has repeatedly called on the United States to take steps to improve relations, including eliminating punitive tariffs, lifting all sanctions, rescinding visa bans, and ending export restrictions on high-tech items.