US-China trade: Biden representative holds ‘frank’ talks with Beijing as tensions rise
The phone call did not mark a formal resumption of US-China trade talks, but Tai discussed “his ongoing review of US-China trade relations, while raising concerns. issues of concern, ”according to his office.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce called the conversation between Liu and Tai “honest, pragmatic and constructive.”
“The two sides believe that the development of bilateral trade is very important,” the ministry said in a statement sent Thursday local time.
But resetting trade may not be easy just because there is a change in direction in Washington.
“The underlying disagreements between the United States and China extend far beyond trade,” Morningstar analysts wrote in a research report Thursday. They pointed out that the US government “has a number of objections to the fundamental characteristics of the Chinese political and economic system,” including the considerable support the government provides to Chinese companies.
The two sides have also clashed in recent months over some issues, including alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and the origins of Covid-19.
However, the US-China relationship still requires collaboration on many fronts, Morningstar analysts wrote. They stressed that the Chinese economy “is deeply integrated into global value chains and is also a major source of demand for American products and services.” Climate cooperation is also needed from China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, to achieve environmental goals.
Headwinds of trade
China faces headwinds to meet its trade commitment with the United States.
China is still behind on business targets, estimates from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC.
China’s imports of U.S. products for this year through April have only reached 73 percent of the cumulative annual target, the institute calculated, using data from US and Chinese customs agencies.
A recent surge in commodity prices could also weigh on these targets.
– CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.