October 18, 2021

Taking Stock of the New U.S. Trade Policy on China

By Emily Kilcrease

The Biden administration has unveiled its long-awaited strategy for U.S.-China trade policy in a major speech delivered on Oct. 4 by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai. Though short on details, Tai’s remarks provided the outline of an overarching strategy to manage China’s “zero-sum” approach to global trade. She affirmed the administration’s broader trade priorities of negotiating from a position of strength—which necessitates substantial investments in the domestic economy—and ensuring that U.S. trade policy reinforces the well-being of workers and the resiliency of critical supply chains.

Though short on details, Tai’s remarks provided the outline of an overarching strategy to manage China’s “zero-sum” approach to global trade.

In this context, the Biden administration’s China trade policy strategy is intended to realign the economic relationship away from U.S. dependency on China and toward an equilibrium where trade is balanced and beneficial to U.S. interests. As outlined in the Oct. 4 speech, core elements of the administration’s strategy will include enforcement of China’s existing trade obligations, including in the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Agreement or “phase one” agreement; direct talks with China on issues beyond the scope of the phase one agreement; closer coordination with allies; and new policy tools to address gaps in existing trade and investment rules.

Read the full article from Lawfare.

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