Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 industry associations, once again urged the Joe Biden administration to end the “ill-advised trade war” initiated by the previous US administration.
“It is time to take a new approach to working with our trading partners that lightens the burden of current tariffs and finally puts an end to this misguided trade war,” AFT spokesman Jonathan Gold said on Tuesday.
This is the second time in the past two months that major trading groups have launched such an appeal, arguing that it is American businesses and consumers who are footing the bill for punitive tariffs imposed on goods worth $ 350. billion dollars imported from China every year.
However, the Biden administration has turned a deaf ear to cries of suffering, and US media recently reported that the administration was considering launching a so-called Section 301 investigation into Chinese subsidies, which could lead to new ones. tariffs on imports. from China.
The previous administration initiated the tariff hikes, gradually increasing them, as a tactic to pressure China into swallowing an unfair trade deal. The Biden administration, however, intends to normalize the militarization of tariffs as an intrinsic part of its administration’s strategy to contain China.
Over the past four years, China’s bipartisan containment foundation has grown stronger, as it is one of the few issues that the two political parties in the United States can find meeting points on and it is became a theatrical touchstone of patriotism. for politicians in the United States, which prompted the anti-China political portfolio to shift from a trade war to a whole-of-society campaign.
That being said, as both countries have been able to live with the tariffs, which are painful but not fatal, and tensions between them continue to escalate, it is unrealistic to expect the Biden administration to take the lead. initiative to end tariffs. .
This is why the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, stressed Monday during a virtual meeting with the members of the board of directors of the China-US Business Council that the difficulties and uncertainties in economic cooperation and Sino-American trade came from the American side.
But as Qin said, economic and trade cooperation has been the ballast and propeller of Sino-US relations. As such, having agreed in his recent phone conversation with President Xi Jinping that the two countries’ competition should not clash, Biden should make sure that they can still play those roles.
In doing so, his administration can help create the right conditions for both sides to return to the negotiating table for phase two of their trade deal. Given the broad implications of their trade concerns, negotiations, if conducted with mutual respect and on an equal footing, have the potential to create safeguards for their interactions in the form of rules of behavior that would allow for their relationship to develop in a more predictable way.