US must urge China to change but act to protect economic interests – USTR Tai

FILE PHOTO: US Trade Representative Tai speaks to the media after touring the Bay City silicon wafer fab
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai speaks with members of the media after a tour of a silicon wafer fab being expanded by South Korean semiconductor maker SK Siltron CSS in Bay City, Michigan, the United States March 16, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Koch

March 30, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will vigorously defend US economic interests and values ​​against the negative impact of China’s economic policies while Beijing strengthens its state-centric economic system, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Wednesday.

Tai told the House Ways and Means Committee that Washington’s talks with Beijing over its missed purchase commitments under a Phase 1 trade deal and broader non-market policies have been “unreasonably difficult” and new tools are needed.

“Going forward, our strategy will go beyond China’s urging and include vigorously defending our values ​​and economic interests against the adverse effects of China’s economic policies and practices,” she said.

She said Washington “can’t stop urging China to change” but could no longer wait for China to change policies, noting that tariffs on $300 billion to $400 billion in Chinese imports don’t bother Beijing would have given incentive for fundamental changes.

China has only fulfilled about 60% of its Phase 1 deal commitments to add $200 billion to US purchases in 2020 and 2021.

Tai said the United States must not only “continue to pressure China to change,” but take other steps on its side, including passing legislation in Congress to encourage investment in innovation, semiconductors, and the return of the supply chain Manufacturing Industries to the US Shores.

“That’s the plan we need to follow going forward,” she said, echoing last week’s comments to Reuters.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, David Lawder and Michael Martina; Editing by Jonathan Oatis) US must urge China to change but act to protect economic interests – USTR Tai


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