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China, US reps hold ‘candid’ meeting on trade issues


US trade representative Katherine Tai and China’s vice premier Liu He “reviewed implementation of the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement and agreed that the two sides would consult on certain outstanding issues”, according to a readout of their meeting issued by the office of the US trade representative (USTR).

By Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington

China and US held their first trade talks under the Biden administration with a “candid exchange” in a virtual meeting of US trade representative Katherine Tai and China’s vice premier Liu He on Friday.

The two officials “reviewed implementation of the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement and agreed that the two sides would consult on certain outstanding issues”, according to a readout of their meeting issued by the office of the US trade representative (USTR).

Tai signalled the resumption of trade talks with China last week saying she plans to have ‘frank conversations” with her Chinese counterpart about “shortfalls” in deliverables China had committed itself to under a 2020 trade deal popularly known as the Phase 1 agreement.

At the meeting, Tai emphasised US concerns relating to China’s “state-led, non-market policies and practices that harm American workers, farmers and businesses”, the USTR said.

US trade officials have indicated they do not foresee a Phase 2 of the trade deal with China, and are focussed on ensuring the implementation of the 2020 deal.

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