Seven months after taking office, US President Joe Biden’s administration has yet to establish a trade policy with China.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Tuesday the “Biden-Harris Administration and USTR are conducting a comprehensive review of U.S.-China trade policy,” according to a readout of a virtual meeting with two business associations, the U.S. Chamber China Center Advisory Board and the U.S.-China Business Council.
She admits the significance of the U.S.-China trade association and said the U.S. remains perpetrated to “addressing China’s unfair trade policies and non-market practices that undermine American businesses and workers,” the readout said.
According to Michael Hirson, practice head for China and Northeast Asia at consulting firm Eurasia Group, Biden persuaded major G-7 countries to issue strong statements condemning China. However, Biden has “not yet articulated a trading strategy or another approach that would really be effective in countering China’s economic strength,” Hirson said.
Under former President Donald Trump, trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies grew. Tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods from both sides sparked a dispute that has since spread into technology jobs and finance.
American and other foreign businesses have long complained about unequal market access in China, a lack of intellectual property protection, and forced technology transfer. China’s Ministry of Commerce said last week the two countries remained in “normal communication” regarding trade jobs, according to a CNBC translation.
Despite political tensions, trade between the United States and China has increased. According to customs data accessed through Wind Information, China’s exports to the United States increased 36.9 percent year on year in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2020, while imports increased 50.4 percent year on year in the January to July period.
China’s trade surplus with the U.S. rose further in July to $35.42 billion, despite Trump’s efforts to reduce that surplus.