US accuses China of harming global trade
The Office of the US Trade Representative has once again accused China of failing to meet its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying that Beijing is repeatedly exploring new ways to implement aggressive trade practices.
According to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, China refuses to live up to its commitments under the phase-one trade deal, which, according to her, would “provide a solid foundation for future bilateral engagement.” The official added that China’s trade policies are causing “serious harm” to workers and firms across the globe.
Among other things, the report mentions Beijing’s subsidies for industries, restrictions on foreign companies’ abilities to do business in the country, and a lack of protection for intellectual property rights.
“China’s embrace of a state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade has increased rather than decreased over time, and the mercantilism that it generates has harmed and disadvantaged US companies and workers, often severely,” the review states.
Trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies started under former US President Donald Trump, when more than half of Chinese goods imported by the US became subject to higher tariffs.
Despite the drastic measures, US-China trade reportedly soared to $657.4 billion in 2021 after struggling through the pandemic. That’s less than $1.5 billion short of the record set back in 2018.
To reduce the strain, Washington and Beijing reached a so-called phase-one trade agreement in January 2020. Under the terms of the deal, China agreed to boost purchases of US products. However, the US has accused China of buying only 57% of American goods it had committed to purchase.
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