U.S. Business Groups Urge Biden to Restart China Trade Talks
A letter from influential industry organizations asked the White House to resume negotiations on tariffs and other measures that stalled during a bruising trade war.
By Paul Mozur and David McCabe
A group of the most influential American business groups is urging the Biden administration to restart trade talks with China and cut tariffs on Chinese-made goods that had remained in place after the start of the bruising trade war between the two countries.
The groups, which represented interests as diverse as potato farmers, microchip companies and the pharmaceutical industry, said in a letter dated Thursday that the Biden administration should take “swift action” to address “burdensome” tariffs. They also called on the White House to work with the Chinese government to ensure that it carries out commitments made in its trade truce with the Trump administration, sealed in early 2020.
The letter, addressed to the Treasury Department and the United States trade representative, comes as the relationship between the world’s two largest economies remains fractious. A high-profile visit to China last month by Wendy R. Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, began with acerbic opening remarks from the Chinese side and ended with little sign of progress. The two have squabbled over human rights, cyberattacks and China’s military operations in the South China Sea.
While the Biden administration has mapped out a strategy of confrontation with China on a range of issues, it has said less about the countries’ economic relationship.
It is more than seven months into a review of the trade deal that former President Donald J. Trump signed with China in January 2020, along with other national security measures from the previous administration. Officials have not yet announced the results of that review.
The January 2020 trade truce essentially froze into place U.S. tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese imports. That deal also did nothing to stop the Chinese government’s subsidies of strategic industries like computer chips and electric cars, which have worried American competitors. While some of the provisions of the trade deal are set to expire at the end of the year, much of the agreement will remain in place.
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