Vilsack accuses China of breaking commitments in Trump-era trade deal


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said China has broken its promises made in the Phase One trade agreement crafted by the Trump administration.

Vilsack, during testimony to the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday, was asked if China has kept its commitments made in previous agreements.

“No,” he said promptly. “They’re $13 billion short on purchases and there are seven key areas where they have yet to perform.”

He listed matters like biotech approvals, dried distillers grains and tariffs on ethanol as some of the concerns.

While U.S. businesses have called on Biden to lift the tariffs, the president said on Wednesday that he was not yet ready to do so, according to Bloomberg.

The Biden administration has maintained Trump-era tariffs on China as it works to enforce the trade deal known as “Phase One.” Last year, President Biden pressed China to comply with the trade agreement. 

In October, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai gave a speech about how China’s trade practices have hurt U.S. workers and industries and unfairly benefited Beijing in the global trade system.

“I intend to have frank conversations with my counterpart in China. That will include discussion over China’s performance under the Phase One Agreement. And we will also directly engage with China on its industrial policies,” Tai said at the time.

At the time of that speech, the Biden administration did not provide details for what specific actions it might take if China did not comply with its requests. The administration also did not detail a timeline for how quickly it would want to see progress from Beijing.

Tags China Joe Biden Katherine Tai Phase One trade deal Tom Vilsack trade agreement

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