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Exclusive-U.S. calls for 'concrete action' from China to meet Phase 1 purchase commitments

Economic Indicators Feb 07, 2022 12:11PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song 2/2

By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials called on Monday for "concrete action" from China to make good on its commitment to purchase $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services in 2020 and 2021 under the "Phase 1" trade deal signed by former President Donald Trump.

The officials said Washington was losing patience with Beijing, which had "not shown real signs" in recent months that it would close the gap in the two-year purchase commitments that expired at the end of 2021.

The comments come a day before the U.S. government is due to release full-year trade data that analysts expect to show a significant shortfall in China's pledge to increase purchases of U.S. farm and manufactured goods, energy and services.

Through November, China had met only about 60% of the goal, according to trade data compiled by Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow Chad Bown.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said the trade deal did not address the core problems with China's state-led economy, but U.S. officials have pressed Beijing to make good on the deal as signed.

"Because we inherited this deal, we engaged the (People's Republic of China) on its purchase commitment shortfalls, both to fight for U.S. farmers, ranchers and manufacturers and give China the opportunity to follow through on its commitments. But our patience is wearing thin," said one of the officials.

China continued to engage with U.S. officials on the issue, but Washington was seeking "concrete action", not "talks for the sake of talking," the official added.

U.S. officials said they would continue to press China to show "serious intent" to reach an agreement on their purchase commitments, but conceded the framework of the deal offered them little leverage to enforce the purchase commitments.

Regardless of how the negotiations wind up, U.S. officials said they would continue to target the core problems of China's state-led economy, while working to boost U.S. competitiveness by diversifying markets and working with allies and partners.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi told a trade conference on Tuesday that China had failed to meet its purchase commitments under the deal and the conversations between Washington and Beijing had been "very difficult."

The agreement, signed by Trump in January 2020, defused a nearly three-year trade war between the world's two largest economies, but left in place tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports on both sides of the Pacific.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said on Monday that the United States should work with China to push foward economic and trade ties.

"For the specific problems which emerge in economic and trade relations between the two countries, both sides should appropriately solve them in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and consultation," Zhao told a news conference.

China's Ministry of Commerce did not respond to a faxed request for comment.

Exclusive-U.S. calls for 'concrete action' from China to meet Phase 1 purchase commitments
 

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Comments (9)
Andy Ng
Andy Ng Feb 07, 2022 11:50AM ET
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US try to suppress Chinese business in US but want China to honor the trade deal. Haha
Pankaj Ahuja
Pankaj Ahuja Feb 07, 2022 11:31AM ET
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Now China has started to Blackmail US.This has been their regular strategy towards the other countries.This time its US
Jack AAA
Jack_A Feb 07, 2022 11:06AM ET
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US government is disgusting and disgraceful! A loser behaves like this
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Feb 07, 2022 10:58AM ET
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The fraud resumes, the the 10AM breaker initiating the first round of criminal manipulation.  The US Ponzi Scheme cements its place in history as the biggest investment joke in the world.
Jack Peterson
Jack Peterson Feb 07, 2022 7:57AM ET
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Trusting the CCP is like having the fox in charge of the hen house…
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Feb 07, 2022 4:19AM ET
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Wait, what? Tim's want Trump's China trade policy while criticizing their government?
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Feb 07, 2022 4:19AM ET
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*Dems
Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes Feb 07, 2022 3:37AM ET
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If only US will sell high tech stuffs, $200 billions will be met. No problem.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Feb 07, 2022 1:37AM ET
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the Western democracies aren't perfect but they at least try to learn from their mistakes. the Chinese dictatorship with their brutality double down when they make any mistakes. you can't even compare the brutal Chinese dictatorship with the western democracies, in the end the Chinese dictatorship will end up in the historical trashbin of history.
Jack AAA
Jack_A Feb 07, 2022 1:37AM ET
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learned from mistakes? From 1960s, Vietnam war, Libya war, Iraq war, .... How many wars does the US government need to learn? The people in other countries suffered!!!
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Feb 07, 2022 1:12AM ET
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China's never lives up to the bargains it makes with western trading partners unless it only benefits them. they have proven to be unreliable and without honor. China cannot be trusted in any trading agreement.
 
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