Steps Forward to the End of the Trade War between China and the USA


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Recently, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met online to discuss bilateral trade issues.

It was the second time they met and it came after Tai’s address, in which she stated that she would seek honest meetings with her Chinese colleague to discuss progress made under the phase one trade deal.

What was exactly the phase one of the trade deal?

The phase one of the deal came into effect on February 14th, 2020. 

For the two-year period from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, China committed to increase purchases of certain US goods and services by a total of $200 billion over 2017 baseline levels.

Through August 2021, China’s total imports of covered products from the United States were $89.4 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $129.9 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $70.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $113.0 billion. Through August 2021, China’s purchases of all covered products reached 69 percent (Chinese imports) or 62 percent (US exports) of the year-to-date target.

Source: PIIE

In the deal, the United States promised to cut by half the tariff rate it imposed on Sept 1. on a $120 billion list of Chinese goods, to 7.5%.

The deal also included stronger Chinese legal protections for patents, trademarks, copyrights, including improved criminal and civil procedures to combat online infringement, pirated and counterfeit goods.

What happened during the recent talks on trade issues

In the last virtual talk, the two sides agreed that economic and commercial relations between China and the United States are critical for both countries and the world. According to an announcement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, they also agreed to expand bilateral economic and trade exchanges and cooperation. (this is the original link in Chinese).

According to the press statement, the Vice Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed the implementation of the Sino-US economic and trade pact. Both parties stated their own worries and promised to consult with each other to address one other’s legitimate concerns.

China worked with the US to have tariffs and penalties lifted, as well as clarifying its position on China’s economic development model and industrial policy.

They agreed to keep talking on the basis of equality and mutual respect in order to establish favorable conditions for the healthy development of economic and trade relations between the two countries, as well as the global economy’s recovery.

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