US indicates it will keep hard line with China on trade agreements

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O governo Biden gave its strongest signal that the combative economic approach of the USA about China will continue. In an interview with reporters on Sunday, senior officials in the Biden administration said tariffs on Chinese products would not be lifted immediately and that the Americans would demand that Beijing keep to agreed trade commitments during the administration of Donald Trump.

Officials indicated that while Biden has criticized the Trump government, his administration will continue to try to contain China’s economic threats with trade barriers and other punitive measures.

The measures include requiring China to fulfill commitments agreed to as part of the Phase 1 trade agreement it signed with the United States in January 2020.

So far, the Chinese government is on track to fall short of its 2021 purchase commitments by more than 30%, after falling short of more than 40% last year, according to Chad P. Bown, senior researcher at the Institute Peterson of International Economics, which monitors purchases.

Katherine Tai, the US trade representative, is expected to begin talking to her Chinese counterparts in the coming days about the country’s failure to fulfill its agreements, senior government officials said.

New spot rates?

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of imposing new rates to China if negotiations with the world’s second-largest economy do not produce the desired results.

China denies that it has not complied with the Phase 1 agreement, arguing that the pandemic created unique circumstances.

The Biden government is preparing an investigation into the use of subsidies by China. If carried out, the investigation could result in additional fees for the Asian country, according to people familiar with the plans.

In excerpts released on Monday morning in Washington From a speech to be delivered later today by Katherine Tai, the trade representative says, “For too long, China’s lack of adherence to global trade rules has undermined the prosperity of Americans and others around the world. ”

“We continue to have serious concerns about China’s state-centric and off-market business practices that were not addressed in the Phase 1 agreement,” she added.

The Biden administration has given no indication that it plans to reduce the hefty tariffs President Trump has imposed on Chinese products any time soon.

Biden has already criticized the trade war between the United States and China. But after eight months in the presidency, Biden maintained tariffs on Chinese products and restrictions on access to American technologies by Chinese companies.

It also expanded the list of Chinese officials under sanctions for their role in undermining Hong Kong’s democratic institutions.