[Global Times-Global Network Reporter Ni Hao] According to foreign media reports, U.S. Trade Representative Dai Qi said at a congressional hearing on Wednesday that he would come up with new ways to curb China's economic behavior that "harms" U.S. interests, adding that tariffs include Traditional trade policy tools are no longer sufficient, and the United States needs newer tools to respond.
Analysts believe that Dai Qi's remarks mean that the Biden administration, which has been evaluating its economic and trade policies towards China in the past year, has gradually formed an overall framework for its economic and trade policies towards China.
Several experts told the Global Times reporter that after a year of evaluation, the Biden administration may have formulated a new economic and trade policy towards China. In addition to maintaining the Trump-era tariff measures, it may reduce the risk of the trade war. Using, but replacing, a more systematic set of institutional measures to rein in China has to be vigilant.
According to foreign media reports, Dai Qi testified in the US Congress on March 30 that the US has made unparalleled efforts to engage with China in trade, but it is still difficult for China to make real changes.
She cited disagreements with China in the fields of steel, aluminum and solar energy, saying that "existing mechanisms are too slow or inappropriate to effectively address China's problems in these industries" and that traditional trade policy tools, including tariffs, are no longer sufficient.
"We can't just wait for China to make changes, the U.S. has to act on its own, such as pushing manufacturing back to the U.S. and rebuilding our manufacturing base." She said Congress should pass legislation for a bipartisan innovation bill for semiconductor manufacturing and research $52 billion in grants to really improve U.S. competitiveness.
According to Dai Qi, the door for further dialogue between China and the United States is still open, and the United States will continue to put pressure on China.
However, she did not mention specific new measures against China.
Dai Qi also expressed her disappointment with globalization.
She said that after two years of the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, "the existing globalization has increased the insecurity of the United States in terms of supply chains, and the collaborators that the United States relies on do not reassure us."
The "Wall Street Journal" interpreted in the report that Dai Qi's speech revealed a clear change in the attitude of the chief trade official of the Biden administration.
Gao Lingyun, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Dai Qi has been evaluating the China trade policy under the former US Trade Representative Lighthizer.
"It is possible that the Office of the US Trade Representative has made an assessment report and even reported to Biden, and put forward several plans, so Dai Qi will make the above remarks when testifying before Congress at this time."
Gao Lingyun believes that from Dai Qi's position, the current US government believes that the Trump-era tariff policy on China is "useless", and the negative impact on the US domestic industry is also relatively obvious.
After Biden came to power, he changed his quest for war during the Trump era, held high tariffs, and pursued "America First" measures, reached tariff reconciliation with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom successively, ended the trade war, and shifted the focus to targeting China. .
Huo Jianguo, vice president of the China World Trade Organization Research Association, said in an interview with a reporter from the Global Times that Dai Qi's speech can be understood as the U.S. foreign economic and trade strategy characterized by trade wars and tariff wars during the Trump era has gradually marginalized.
He believes that the United States is adjusting its previous strategy in economic and trade relations with China. Dai Qi's speech has released a signal of adjustment in economic and trade relations with China. While retaining the restrictive measures during the Trump period, more energy Turn to the strengthening of domestic industrial competitiveness.
"The United States may not be able to turn around quickly, but at least it has realized that suppression and blockade restrictions alone cannot solve the problem of the gradual dislocation of trade balance and competition between China and the United States. The United States must improve its competitiveness."
Gao Lingyun believes that the most worthy of attention in Dai Qi's speech is the adjustment of the United States' strategy to deal with China's competition, that is, to develop domestic industries and attract manufacturing to return.
"This is the policy of former US President Barack Obama, when Dai Qi was also working in the Office of the US Trade Representative." He said that this means that the future policy focus of the Biden administration will no longer be to impose tariffs, but to The goal of increasing domestic GDP forces manufacturing out of China.
He believes that, based on the above information, Dai Qi's so-called new tools should be a complete set of systems, investment, intellectual property rights, environmental protection policies, etc., rather than simply levying tariffs.
It is worth noting that Dai Qi also mentioned in his speech that another pillar of the US trade policy is to strengthen cooperation with allies and try new contact methods that are different from traditional market opening measures.
Gao Lingyun reminded that this may in fact form a containment of China, and China must attach great importance to this.
If Biden returns to the Obama line, the pressure on China will be greater than under Trump.
According to public media reports, on March 22, the United States and the United Kingdom reached a settlement on the issue of steel and aluminum tariffs, ending the four-year-old tariff dispute over steel and aluminum.
On February 8, the United States announced that it would exempt Japanese steel from additional tariffs.
Before that, at the end of October 2021, the United States and the European Union reached a similar agreement after several rounds of negotiations, and the three-year-old steel and aluminum tariff war between the two sides was quelled.
Every time it reaches an agreement with its allies, the United States often throws out the rhetoric that it is focused on dealing with China.
Huo Jianguo said that the Biden administration did not approve of the trade war with allies during the Trump era, so it gradually reached reconciliation with Europe, Britain and Japan, strengthening the strategy of wooing allies to further suppress China.
Huo Jianguo said, "It is difficult for the United States to fight China alone. If it gathers its allies to deal with China together, it will put more pressure on us."
Lv Xiang, a researcher at the Institute of American Studies of the Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times reporter that the imposition of high tariffs is already a relatively strong economic and trade restriction measure. What is new and what is the reality of Dai Qi's so-called "new tools"? The effect, it is difficult to have a greater room for imagination.
Lu Xiang speculates that the "new tool" of the United States is likely to form a closed loop in some high-end fields, further decoupling from China, such as attracting Japan and South Korea to form an alliance in the semiconductor field; another idea is to attract high-end manufacturing to invest in the United States , such as attracting Foxconn and TSMC to invest in the United States.
"Such an industrial policy is not new, the United States has been doing it. The Biden administration has been in office for more than a year, and the progress in this regard is not obvious. It is difficult to imagine how much more results will be achieved in the next two years or more. ” He also said that the United States hopes to split the world into small circles that it can control, which goes against the trend of economic globalization, and it is not easy to do this.
"For China, it is still necessary to give full play to its institutional advantages, industrial advantages and talent advantages, and focus on high-end technology to get rid of the blockade of the United States to the greatest extent." He said.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting responded to the U.S. remarks on March 31, arguing that the U.S., as a member of the WTO, should make its trade policies and practices in line with WTO rules, rather than engage in another set of new trade policies. In the name of policy and practice, the practice of unilateralism and protectionism is in reality.
China and the US share huge common interests, and cooperation is the only correct choice.Keywords: