US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Monday that she plans to raise “serious concerns” with her Chinese counterparts during planned meetings this week.
Tsai said she believes China is not upholding its end of the Phase One trade deal, which came into effect in 2020. “There are things that appear that they have not done,” she told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“We continue to have serious concerns with China’s state-centered and nonmarket trade practices that were not addressed in the phase one deal. As we work to enforce the terms of phase one, we will raise these broader policy concerns with Beijing,” Tsai said.
So far, the Biden administration has kept all Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods in effect. Tsai said the US will start a “targeted tariff exclusion process” for certain goods, signaling that most tariffs will remain.
The exclusion process will consider requests from US companies that want to purchase Chinese goods. Studies have shown that US importers and businesses are bearing the brunt of the tariff cost, and US business groups have called on the Biden administration to end the policy.
Echoing other Biden officials, Tsai said the US is working with allies to counter China. “The core of our strategy is a commitment to ensuring we work with our allies to create fair and open markets,” she said.
Tsai claimed the US doesn’t want to “inflame” trade tensions with China, but it’s clear her approach is the same hardline one the Trump administration pursued.
Other Biden officials have been more hawkish in their rhetoric against Beijing. Last week, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the US must work with its European allies to slow China’s “innovation.”