U.S. Trade Representative Dickey said Saturday (June 5) that there is a “serious imbalance” in trade relations between the world’s two largest economies and that the United States is committed to leveling it out.
Dackey attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit’s online meeting of trade ministers on Saturday, where she took brief questions from reporters before the meeting.
Asked whether the U.S. will continue to implement the first phase of the trade agreement with China signed in January 2020 and impose tariffs on Chinese goods, she replied, “Part of the U.S.-China trade relationship is unhealthy, and over time, that unhealthy relationship is damaging the U.S. economy in some very important ways.”
“It’s a relationship that is characterized by serious imbalances in trade – that’s on the surface, but also in terms of the opportunities and openness that the U.S. and Chinese markets give each other.” She said, “The United States is committed to doing everything we can to bring the U.S.-China trade relationship back into balance.”
The Biden administration has been extensively assessing the Trump (Trump) administration’s policy toward China since taking office in January, including how to handle the tariffs and other trade measures Trump has taken. So far, Biden has not made any major changes to Trump’s trade policy toward China and has advanced few specific actions against China.
Dyche has publicly stated that she will implement the first phase of the U.S.-China trade agreement and respect the continuity of U.S. policy.
Dyche and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen each had their first calls in a week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, China’s special envoy for trade talks.
Both calls lasted about 50 minutes, and normal communication has begun between the U.S. and China in the area of trade and commerce, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday (3). But there have been no public signs that the two sides have made any progress on the tariff issue.
There are growing indications of what direction the Biden administration’s policy toward China is headed. Kurt Campbell, the White House’s top official for Asia and coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs at the National Security Council, said in May that the United States is entering a period of “intense competition” with China.
Campbell also said at a conference that Biden’s China policy would blend elements of Obama and Trump, “an interesting aggregation and combination – almost a hybrid.
The Biden administration this week retained a Trump-era ban on investment in some Chinese companies, but changed the focus of the blacklisting criteria from involving the Communist Party’s military to “defense and surveillance,” potentially giving Chinese companies a clearer path to exoneration.
Some commentators say that Biden’s move is more like a small olive branch to Beijing, offering concessions that could help stabilize relations, but may not be enough to get the Chinese government to respond in kind.
Despite diplomatic and political tensions between the U.S. and China, trade and investment flows between the two countries continue to strengthen. Chinese exports to the United States continue to grow, and China is increasing its purchases of U.S. goods, although this is not enough to reach the levels promised in the trade agreement.