US-China Relations: Biden Says Trade-war Tariffs to Remain in Place for Now as Alliance Building Comes First



Cissy Zhou | South China Morning Post

US president-elect Joe Biden confirmed that he will not make any “immediate moves” to lift the tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on imports of Chinese goods before a full review of the existing phase-one trade deal and consultations with US allies, despite China’s hopes that it would be able to renegotiate the trade agreement with the new US administration.

In an interview with The New York Times published on Wednesday, Biden said the “best China strategy” was to get all traditional US allies in Asia and Europe “on the same page”, which will be his major priority “in the opening weeks” of his presidency.

Biden said his trade policies will focus on “China’s abusive practices”, including “stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations” and forced technology transfers.

The phase-one trade deal was hammered out after months of painful negotiations and 18 months of trade-war tariffs piling up on both sides. The deal has been hailed by the Trump administration as a major triumph amid the protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

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