Joe Biden told a New York Times opinion columnist that he won’t immediately remove the elevated tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on China. He intends to first review the existing US-China agreement.
Biden says he will develop a “coherent strategy” with traditional allies in Europe and Asia.
“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. It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies,” Biden said on Wednesday.
He noted that Beijing wouldn’t welcome a US that gathers a coalition against China.
“I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first,” Biden was quoted as saying, citing research in energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence as areas that could use more government investment.
“I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers” and in education, he added.
The world’s two largest economies, US and China, have been locked in a bitter trade battle since 2018, with the Trump administration accusing Beijing of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft.
Under the so-called ‘phase one’ deal signed in January, China pledged to boost US imports by $200 billion above 2017 levels and strengthen intellectual property rules. The US agreed to halve some of the new tariffs it had imposed on China.
The sides were also considering a ‘phase two’ trade deal but President Trump dismissed such a possibility in July, saying “the relationship with China has been severely damaged.”
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