WASHINGTON—The Biden administration will announce on Monday its “new strategy” on trade relations with China, which will include extending tariff exclusion on certain Chinese goods, according to senior administration officials.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in a speech at a Washington think tank on Monday, is planning to reveal the China trade policy of the Biden administration. Her announcement will focus on the bilateral trade agreement and the tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports imposed by the previous administration.
“First, our objective is not to escalate trade tensions with China or double down on the previous administration’s flawed strategy,” a senior administration official told reporters on Sunday during a conference call ahead of the announcement.
As part of the new trade strategy, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will revisit the phase one trade agreement signed between the United States and China in January last year and ask Beijing to follow through on the commitments it has made.
The phase one trade deal signed during the Trump administration requires China to buy $200 billion worth of additional U.S. goods and services during the two-year period of 2020 and 2021. Analysis of Chinese trade data by the Peterson Institute for International Economics showed that China has met about 58 percent of its purchase commitments in 2020 and 69 percent through Aug. 2021.
According to the Biden administration, results from the agreement are mixed, with the agriculture sector benefiting the most from the agreement. Beijing has met about 92 percent of its import target in agriculture but has fallen short in meeting its commitments in manufactured goods and energy.
After a comprehensive review, the administration plans to use the enforcement mechanism under the agreement to ensure that China meets those commitments.
“Second, we will start a targeted tariff exclusion process. We will also keep open the potential for additional exclusion processes in the future,” the official said.
President Joe Biden has maintained the tariffs on nearly $360 billion worth of Chinese goods enacted by the previous administration.
By Emel Akan