US Must Treat China As Rival, Trade Partner - Trade Representative Nominee

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th February, 2021) The United States needs to think of China as a rival, trade partner and outsized player while at the same time cooperating with Beijing to address global challenges, President Joe Biden's nominee for US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said during her Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.

"With China, we must remember how to walk, chew gum and play chess at the same time," Tai said. "China is simultaneously a rival, a trade partner, and an outsized player whose cooperation we'll also need to address certain global challenges."

Tai, who spent the past four years as chief counsel for Democrats on the US House Ways and Means Committee responsible for trade, promised to act sensibly and tough on China. She agreed in principle that Beijing needed to keep promises it made to the previous Trump administration on the US-China trade deal concluded in January 2020.

But Tai also refrained from giving details on how she planned to proceed on the thorny issue of bilateral tariffs, export bans and other key issues, saying she will rely on the "opportunities and limitations in our existing toolbox".

"I know first-hand how critically important it is that we have a strategic and coherent plan for holding China accountable to its promises and effectively competing with its model of state-directed economics," Tai said.

Since taking office on January 20, Biden has not committed to entirely doing away with the host of tariffs on Chinese goods placed by his predecessor. But he did speak on a two-hour telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month.