Flags of the United States and China are displayed at the booth of the American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC) during the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China on May 28, 2019.
Jason Lee | Reuters
The Biden administration will review all national security measures taken by former President Donald Trump, including the US-China Phase 1 trade agreement signed in January 2020, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
When asked if President Joe Biden considered the deal still in force, she told a White House briefing: “Everything the previous administration has set up is currently under review as it relates to our national security approach so would not assume that this is the case. ” go forward. “
Psaki said the Biden administration has focused on addressing US-China relations “from a position of strength, and that means coordinating and communicating with our allies and partners about how we are working with China.” will”.
Trump signed the Phase 1 trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2020, facilitating a nearly 18-month trade war in which hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US and Chinese goods were affected by tariffs, making trade between the US two largest economies in the world slowed.
Under the deal, Beijing pledged to increase its purchases of US agricultural and industrial goods, energy and services by $ 200 billion over 2017 within two years. However, purchases lagged far behind in 2020.
Chad Bown, an associate at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, released an analysis earlier this month showing that China’s purchases of U.S. goods in 2020 fell 42% below the commitment made in the Beijing trade agreement.
The White House did not immediately comment on whether the Biden administration is actively considering withdrawing from the intermediate trade deal.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted in written responses to legislators questions last week about a major review of China’s implementation of the trade deal and said Washington would work with allies to address “abusive” practices in the world’s second largest economy.
Doug Barry, spokesman for the U.S.-China Business Council, said it made sense for the Biden team to review the trade deal and other Trump policies, but downplayed concerns about an impending termination.
“We’re not reading too much into the process right now. China has eleven months to deliver on its promise to buy more US $ 200 billion in products,” he told Reuters.
Noting that China has already made significant purchases of agricultural products, creating jobs in the sector, Barry said Chinese officials have signaled that they intend to meet their obligations under the trade deal.
“This is key to ultimately rolling back mutually damaging tariffs on each other’s goods that have cost American jobs, lowered GDP and increased the cost of living. The abolition of the agreement could make these tariffs and the damage they cause permanent “he added.