United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai met virtually with the U.S. Chamber China Center Advisory Board and the leadership of the U.S.-China Business Council to discuss U.S.-China trade issues and the Biden-Harris administration’s stance.
Tai reiterated USTR’s commitment to addressing China’s unfair trade policies and non-market practices that undermine American businesses and workers. During these meetings, Tai noted that the administration and USTR are conducting a comprehensive review of U.S.-China trade policy, according to a readout from the USTR office.
Tai acknowledged to the groups the significance of the U.S. trade relationship with China and emphasized the importance of a thorough strategic assessment to craft resilient trade policy that supports the administration’s efforts to create jobs, raise wages and strengthen American communities. She also highlighted the White House’s focus on making historic investments to bolster the economy and rebuild relationships with key allies and partners.
“The Advisory Board noted that China is and will remain a critical market for American business,” Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said after the meeting. “The Board had a positive and candid conversation with Ambassador Tai, reiterating the commitment of the business community to work with the administration to achieve a trade policy with China that lifts all stakeholders, is grounded in a desire for market-driven outcomes, and accounts for the unique aspects of U.S.-China relations.”
The U.S. Chamber China Center said it continues to encourage U.S. attention to China’s full implementation of the Phase One agreement; reinstitution of a predictable, transparent and fair Section 301 tariff exclusion and removal process to support U.S. manufacturing and address inflation concerns; re-engagement with China on outstanding structural concerns, and continued work with allies to address issues of common concern with China.
“The business community is keen to play a productive role in this most important of relations. I and my colleagues on the advisory board look forward to doing our part to work with the U.S. government to make progress for our businesses, our workers, and the broader economy,” Carlyle Group CEO Kewsong Lee, the new chair of the U.S. Chamber’s China Center Advisory Board, said. “In this critical, collective endeavor, the Center’s Advisory Board will strive to support constructive engagement between the United States and China, and find areas of cooperation wherever possible, while also working to address legitimate concerns in order to promote competitiveness, innovation, and free and fair trade.”
Douglas K. Barry, senior director of communications and publications for the U.S.-China Business Council, told Sourcing Journal that the organization was pleased that Tai affirmed the importance of the U.S.-China trade relationship and the key role played by U.S. businesses.
“We’re eager to see the results of the administration’s China policy review, which hopefully will include a plan for lifting tariffs on Chinese goods that have served as a tax on U.S. companies and consumers,” Barry said. “Meanwhile, we continue to urge more high-level dialogue between the governments, a successful conclusion to the Phase One agreement negotiated by former President Trump, and transition to a Phase Two agreement which commits China to further opening of key sectors to US companies.”
Kim Glas, president and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations, who did not participate in the meeting, told Sourcing Journal that NCTO appreciates the Biden Administration’s thorough and comprehensive review of U.S.-China trade policy.
“We have long called for parity in our trade relationship with China through policies that address China’s long history of unfair trade practices,” Glas said. “Thanks to massive state-sponsored subsidies and rampant intellectual property theft, Chinese textile and apparel exports have exploded over the past 20 years, making China the dominant player in the global market.”
Glas said China remains a top concern of the Biden administration, including the application of 301 tariffs on finished products.
“We also urge both the administration and Congress to develop policies that effectively confront China to end decades of unfair trade practices that have put U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage,” she added. “We support additional aggressive action to eradicate forced labor from all global textile and apparel supply chains.”
Tai pledged to continue engaging with all U.S. stakeholders, including the U.S. Chamber China Center Advisory Board, the US-China Business Council and their respective members, to gather their input and feedback on these important issues.