The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on March 1, released its annual trade report. The report accuses China of taking unfair and anti-competitive measures to harm the United States and the global economy. The report also confirmed Taiwan as an ally and an important trading partner of the U.S., saying that the United States and Taiwan will increase exchanges to resolve trade issues.
The report mentions the adjustment of U.S.-China trade relations, indicating that their relationship is very complex and highly competitive, both as partners and competitors. As a sizeable non-market economy, China has engaged in unfair and anti-competitive practices that harm workers and businesses in the United States and other countries. Moreover, such non-market behavior undermines supply chain resilience through excessive production centralization.
The report notes that China has adopted a series of unfair measures limiting market access for imported goods and services and manufacturers’ ability to function. In addition, the report accuses China of regularly using illegal tricks to obtain foreign intellectual property and technology.
The report also accuses China of failing to provide fundamental labor rights, low wages, poor labor protection, the use of forced labor in Xinjiang, weak environmental regulation and enforcement, and encouraging overfishing and illegal fishing.
Increasing trade commitment with Taiwan
The report describes the U.S. government’s labor-focused trade policy and mentions relationships with major trading partners.
The relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan is also mentioned in the report. The U.S. and Taiwan are democratic allies in the region and are important trading partners. Both sides have a good trading relationship.
In June 2021, the United States and Taiwan held a meeting of the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), discussing a wide range of trade and investment issues.
The report notes that the U.S. and Taiwan are committed to increasing exchanges to address significant trade issues, including market access barriers faced by U.S. beef and pork producers and issues related to copyright law and financial services. The U.S. and Taiwan also agreed to work against labor exploitation in global supply chains.
The two sides also discussed commercial and environmental priorities, including World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations and the importance of preventing illegal wildlife trade. At the same time, the report said the two countries would establish several TIFA working groups on the common concerns of both sides.