July 28, 2021

Yellen Says China Trade Deal Has ‘Hurt American Consumers’

It might be possible to make some adjustments at the margins of these policies, but China is not willing to abandon its ambitions, said both people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Academic experts in China share the government’s skepticism that any quick deal can be achieved.

“Even if we go back to the negotiating table, it will be tough to reach an agreement,” said George Yu, a trade economist at Renmin University in Beijing.

The Trump administration also sought, without success, to persuade Chinese officials to abandon heavy subsidies for high-tech industries. Robert E. Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s trade representative, ended up imposing tariffs aimed at preventing subsidized Chinese companies from driving American companies out of business.

The United States and China named last year’s pact the Phase 1 agreement, and promised to negotiate a second phase. But that never happened.

The tariffs have played a particularly large role in the auto industry.

In response to Mr. Trump’s 25 percent tariff on imported gasoline-powered and electric cars from China, American automakers like Ford Motor have abandoned plans to import inexpensive cars from their Chinese factories. Chinese automakers like Guangzhou Auto have also shelved plans to enter the American market.

Chinese car exports have surged this spring as new factories come into production, many of them built with extensive subsidies. But the inexpensive Chinese cars have mainly gone elsewhere in Asia and to Europe, even as car prices in the United States have climbed.

Ms. Yellen did not specifically address automotive tariffs.

The first phase of the trade deal included a requirement for a high-level review this summer. The agreement requires China to stop forcing foreign firms to transfer their technology to Chinese companies doing business there.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/us/politics/yellen-us-china-trade.html

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