Since Joe Biden assumed the presidency of the United States, Sino-US trade negotiators have established their first contacts on the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. The two sides said in a separate statement that the new U.S. trade representative David and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said in their speeches today.
The Ministry of Trade of China announced: “These are honest, pragmatic and constructive dialogues.” The United States made a similar assessment based on the sincere exchange of opinions between the two countries. Such a choice of diplomatic language usually indicates that there are differences of opinion in the discussion.
In the introductory virtual meeting, the United States discussed the guiding principles of the Biden-Harris administration’s trade policy and its ongoing analysis of the US-China trade relationship, and pointed out worrying issues.
Ambassador Dai said that she is looking forward to future talks with Vice Premier Liu. Both sides emphasized the importance of mutual trade relations. But the new US administration views China as its biggest competitor and hints that it will cooperate with international allies against Beijing.
China is accused of unfair trade practices, state subsidies, market barriers, theft of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer. Beijing and Washington have been involved in a trade war for three years. The last contact of negotiators was in August, during the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
The United States and China reached a partial agreement in January with the so-called phase one trade agreement, which served as a ceasefire in the trade war. According to the agreement, China promised to substantially increase imports from the United States. On the other hand, Beijing asked the United States to withdraw the fines Trump imposed on almost all products imported from China, but Beijing failed to take appropriate anti-tariff measures against them.