US, China Economic Chiefs Hold ‘Candid and Substantive’ Talks

Dorothy Li
By Dorothy Li
July 6, 2022China News

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had a “candid and substantive” virtual dialogue with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the Treasury Department said.

During a video call on July 5, Yellen “frankly raised issues of concern including the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the global economy and unfair, non-market” economic practices by the Chinese regime, according to a brief readout of the meeting.

The statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce does not mention the U.S. concerns about Beijing’s unfair trade practices or the Ukraine war, though it said the two sides had “a pragmatic and candid exchange of views.”

According to Beijing, Liu “raised concerns about lifting tariffs and sanctions” on China and the treatment of Chinese companies during Tuesday’s call. However, the readout from the Treasury Department didn’t mention any of it.

China Tariffs

The conversation between the two senior U.S. and China officials came after President Joe Biden said last month he was deciding what to do with Trump-era trade tariffs currently imposed on China.

Biden and Tai
President Joe Biden watches as Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House during a reception to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Washington on May 17, 2022. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Yellen is among those who argued that lifting the tariffs could rein in historical inflation, which hit a 40-year high in May with consumer prices surging 8.6 percent.

In an interview with ABC News on June 20, Yellen said some tariffs inherited from former President Donald Trump “serve no strategic purpose and raise cost[s] to consumers.”

The viewpoint was at odds with that of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who questioned the effect of removing more than $300 billion worth of China tariffs on inflation.

Tai told lawmakers on June 22 that she viewed tariffs on Chinese goods as “a significant piece of leverage” over Beijing, adding the changes in the regime’s unfair trade practices have been “elusive.” Tai stated that there is “a limit to what we can do” to address rising prices through tariff changes.

The Trump administration imposed up to 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018 after an investigation concluded that Beijing engaged in excessive government subsidies, intellectual property theft, and other unfair trade practices. In retaliation, the Chinese regime levied tariffs on about $90 billion of U.S. imports.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on June 27 at the G-7 summit in southern Germany that Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to speak in the next few weeks.

Reuters contributed to the report.

From The Epoch Times

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