China won’t keep promises to US when trade deal ends
When the China-U.S. Trade deal was signed in January 2020, it was hoped that it would reduce bilateral tensions and restore some trade balance, but those goals prove elusive at the end of 2021. .
In the 23 months since then-President Donald Trump signed the Phase 1 agreement, Chinese imports from the United States have indeed reached a new record. However, at the end of last month, Beijing was well behind on promises made – buying just over 59% of the additional $ 200 billion in manufactured, agricultural and energy products it had announced by the end of this month. 2021.
The surge in imports has been overtaken by the pandemic-induced export surge in the other direction, undermining the attempt to ensure more balanced trade between the world’s two largest economies. This puts China on track for a record trade surplus with the United States this year – selling $ 358 billion more in goods than it bought in the first 11 months of this year.
“Since the agreement entered into force, China has strived to overcome the multiple negative effects caused by the epidemic shocks, the global economic recession and the blockage of the supply chain, and pushed the two sides to jointly implement the agreement, “China’s Ministry of Commerce said. spokesman Gao Feng said during a regular press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.
“We hope that the United States can create a good atmosphere and conditions for the two sides to expand their trade cooperation,” he added, saying their lines of communication are currently normal.
Critics of the Trump deal have said its terms, especially the promises to purchase, were unrealistic from the start. Global trade disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated the situation. Plus, punitive tariffs imposed by both sides are still in place, making goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars more expensive.
Former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke said this week that “unless there is a signal, a clear change in behavior – commitments by the People’s Republic of China on these economic policies and difficult business – I think it would be very difficult for the Biden administration to reduce or eliminate those tariffs.
The two sides said they were continuing their talks on the trade deal, with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai saying in October that the administration would speak directly to China to enforce what had been agreed. However, there was no mention of trade after the nations’ leaders spoke out last month. And without a new deal, it’s unclear what will happen in the new year with Chinese purchases of products like soybeans, planes or natural gas.
Chinese companies imported $ 13.6 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and energy products from the United States in November, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the General Administration of Customs of China.