Katherine Tai’s remarks lay bare her deep bias towards China
China US photo:GT
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Friday that traditional trade tools and the multilateral trading system had failed to address the so-called “non-transparent, state-directed policies of industrial domination.”
Heightened economic insecurity and other factors “have caused us to re-examine our approach to trade,” Tai said, adding that “the need for correction is clear, and industrial policy is part of that rebalancing effort.”
These days, it’s no surprise to see US politicians relentlessly promoting the decoupling theory, but it’s a bit surprising to hear such dramatic and unprofessional remarks from the US trade chief.
As a trade representative, Tai acts as the principal trade adviser, negotiator, and spokesperson for the U.S. President on related trade and investment matters. The trade relationship between China and the United States is arguably the largest and most complicated in the world. However, Tai’s understanding of China is simplistic, arbitrary, and based on distorted facts.
From former U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China to Washington’s continued crackdown on China’s tech sector, U.S.-China trade relations have remained delicate in recent years. The US-China Business Council (USCBC), which represents major US companies doing business in China, said a study by Oxford Economics estimates that a significant decoupling of the world’s two largest economies could result in 732,000 jobs. fewer jobs in the United States in 2022 and 320,000 fewer jobs by 2025, according to Reuters. But Tai, despite being America’s trade chief, doesn’t seem worried about the economic losses caused by toxic trade policies.
Tai said Friday that the global impact of China’s economic policies has profoundly limited the ability of workers and industries in open markets and “free societies” to thrive or even survive. “This has led many to view trade and globalization with heightened hostility – and a lack of trust in our very institutions,” she said.
Tai seems to be trying to create the illusion that China’s integration into the global economic system has a negative impact on globalization. The Biden administration has maintained a hawkish stance toward China and deflected criticism by blaming China for economic troubles in the United States, some of which are the result of its policies. Their real goal is to squeeze China out of the global industrial chain and strengthen US supply chains with new “industrial policies”.
Some US politicians continue to promote Sino-US decoupling despite the fact that this move goes against market principles and results in losses for the US itself. Will the world really benefit from decoupling with China? Obviously, the answer to this question is no.
Ultimately, whatever Tai says or does cannot erase the fact that China has always been a strong supporter and staunch supporter of economic globalization and regional economic integration. China has become a major trading partner for more than 120 countries and regions, including the US, EU and Japan. Given the scale of the Chinese market, its economic resilience and its central position in global supply chains, decoupling with China will be empty talk.
The author is a journalist at the Global Times. [email protected]