USTR official says China failed to meet ‘Phase 1’ trade deal commitments

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – China has failed to meet its commitments under a two-year “Phase 1” trade deal that expired at the end of 2021 and talks continue with Beijing over the matter, a source said. said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Tuesday.

“You know, it’s really clear that the Chinese haven’t lived up to their commitment in phase 1. That’s something we’re trying to resolve,” Bianchi said during a virtual forum hosted by the Washington International Trade. Association.

In the accord signed by former President Donald Trump in January 2020, China pledged to increase its purchases of US agricultural and manufactured goods, energy and services by $200 billion from 2017 levels. in 2020 and 2021.

Through November, China had only reached about 60% of that target, according to trade data chinas-purchases-us-commodities compiled by Chad Bown, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.

The deal prevented the escalation of a nearly three-year trade war between the world’s two largest economies, but left tariffs in place on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports from both sides of the world. Peaceful.

Bianchi, whose portfolio includes China and Asian trade issues, did not identify the steps the Biden administration is taking to hold China to its Phase 1 commitments, which also include increased access to the Chinese market for agricultural biotechnology and US financial services.

“It’s not our goal to escalate here. But we certainly review all the tools we have in our toolbox to make sure they’re held accountable,” Bianchi said, without providing details.

She said the United States was trying to foster a “stable relationship” with China, but the two countries are at a “difficult stage of the relationship.”

“To be super frank, conversations aren’t easy. They’re very difficult. But you know, from my point of view, what’s important is that we have a conversation and they’ll be utterly honest. “, said Bianchi.

She said the USTR highlighted China’s state aid to businesses and non-market economic policies and practices as a “serious threat to U.S. economic interests.” (Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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