12/03/2020, 09.15
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Biden: Tariffs on Beijing will remain. And 'America First'

A confirmation of expectations.  So far, the Chinese have imported only 56% of the products they committed to purchasing under "phase one" of the trade agreement.  The elected president will oppose China's "abusive practices".  Trade decision only after consultation with allies.  Pressures from Congress.



Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Joe Biden will not immediately cancel "phase one" of the trade agreement signed by Donald Trump with China and will not remove the duties imposed on Chinese products. 

In an interview yesterday with the New York Times, the US president-elect confirmed expectations for a substantial continuation of current policies towards the Asian giant.

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on 295 billion euros in goods imported from China, sparking a trade war between the two powers.  Washington accuses Beijing of systematically breaking the rules of the World Trade Organization by stealing technological and industrial secrets, and by massively subsidizing Chinese companies (public and private).

iN an attempt to find a solution to the crisis, the two sides signed a preliminary trade agreement last January with which the Asian giant pledged to purchase approximately 184 billion euros in goods and services from the United States by the end of 2021. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in the first 10 months of 2020, the Chinese imported only 56% of the products they pledged to buy.  However, the failure to achieve the goal is also due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden said he will oppose China's "abusive practices" and will examine the terms of the pre-deal with Beijing.  Taking up the slogan of the president currently in office, he specified that he will do everything to "invest in America first".

The democratic leader, however, did point to a change of approach compared to Trump: "The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page.” Therefore, he intends to hear from its Asian and European partners before making a decision on tariffs.

For Chinese analysts, Beijing is aware that relations with Washington cannot be traced back to the pre-Trump era.  Democrats and Republicans in Congress want to keep the pressure high, not only on trade, but also on respect for human rights and Hong Kong's autonomy.

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