US will defend economic interests against China, USTR Tai says

WASHINGTON – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai denounced China’s unfair trade practices and pledged to protect U.S. economic interests in a speech Monday, adding that the Biden administration would rally allies to push back the second Mondial economy.

“Our goal is not to stir up trade tensions with China,” Tai said in a speech to an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

“But above all, we must defend our economic interests to the end and that means taking all necessary measures to protect ourselves against the waves of damage inflicted over the years by unfair competition,” said Tai, the most senior official. commercial of the country.

In his remarks, Tai last week confirmed a CNBC report saying that the Biden administration believed Beijing had failed to comply with the phase one trade deal.

According to the deal, which was negotiated under President Donald Trump and signed in January 2020, Beijing has agreed to purchase at least $ 200 billion more in US goods and services in 2020 and 2021, compared to 2017. However , based on US export data. compiled by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, China only achieved 62% of this target.

The deal is expected to expire at the end of 2021.

Tai told CNBC’s Kayla Tausche in an exclusive interview on Monday that she was eager to lead negotiations with the Chinese on behalf of the Biden administration, despite Beijing’s apparently little appetite to improve bilateral relations.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I can trust Beijing until I talk to Beijing,” Tai said of China’s loopholes on the phase one deal. “We don’t know what we can accomplish until we try,” she added.

Last week Tai, alongside Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, met with leaders of the European Union at the inaugural meeting of the United States- EU.

The TTC meeting in Pittsburgh to discuss ways to deepen cooperation on trade and technology signals the Western ambition to compete more effectively with China.

“America is more efficient when we work with our allies,” Raimondo told CNBC ahead of the US-EU meeting. “If we really want to slow down the pace of innovation in China, we have to work with Europe.

Likewise, Tai said in his speech on Monday that the Biden administration would work closely with US allies and like-minded partners “to build truly fair international trade that allows healthy competition.”

“We must be ready to deploy all tools and explore new development, including collaborating with other economies and countries. And we must chart a new course to change the trajectory of our bilateral trade dynamics,” said Tai.


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