US trade chief Tai says open to discussions with China

WASHINGTON: U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday that she is open to trade conversations with Chinese officials, but the Biden administration would defend U.S. interests and was focused on investments to compete more effectively with China.

In prepared testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Tai said that U.S. legislation to enable investments in infrastructure, semiconductors and clean energy technologies will allow the United States to compete from “a position of strength.”

“While we continue to keep the door open to conversations with the PRC, (People’s Republic of China) including on its Phase 1 agreement commitments, we must also vigorously defend our values and economic interests from the negative impacts of the PRC’s unfair economic policies and practices,” Tai said, referring to a two-year trade deal reached by the Trump administration in 2020.

However, her remarks did not indicate any specific plans for discussions with China’s new economic team, led by Vice Premier He Lifeng.

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