US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on March 25 that the United States would more actively pressure China to change trade practices that Washington believes distort the market.
According to Reuters, Tai said that the US was formulating a new approach to trade policy with the second-largest world economy. She noted that Washington needed new, more effective instruments to defend its economic interest and compete with China.
Tai said, “We’re not going to stop pushing China and challenging China to reform and change. But we can’t afford to keep sitting on our hands and waiting for China to make its decision.”
She added, “We are going to need to turn the page on the playbook.”
A March report from Tai’s office showed China had “doubled down on its harmful trade and economic abuses.” In the Phase I trade deal, it has failed to purchase a promised 200 billion dollars in additional US goods and services.
At present, China’s trading activities have also drawn the attention of world powers, as it has been warned against supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the cost of financial sanctions.
Reuters noted that several American business executives had been discontent with the prolonged hesitation to punish Beijing for its trade behaviors since Tai became the top US trade negotiator.
In 2021, the US goods trade deficit with China peaked at $355.3 billion, the highest since 2018.
Tai said she understood the concerns but argued that Washington’s disputes with other nations over 2021 were attempts to subdue China’s more significant risks.
She reiterated that Washington had resolved a 17-year disagreement with the EU and Britain over aircraft subsidies and a four-year dispute with the EU, Britain, and Japan over steel and aluminum tariffs.