We have launched E-mail Alert service,subscribers can receive the latest catalogues free of charge

You Are Here: Home > Reports

Watch Out for the New Leadership Team of USTR and Its Stance towards China (No.169, 2021)


By Zhang Youyi & Long Yingxian, Department of International Cooperation, DRC

Research Report, No.169, 2021 (Total 6234) 2021-6-23

Abstract: Recently, China and the United States have resumed normal communication in the fields of economy and trade, and got off to a smooth start. In order to prepare for the follow-up dialogues and negotiations, we have analyzed the new leadership team of Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and concluded that it is characterized by a distinctly left-wing stance, whole-of-government collaboration, multilateralism, and rich experience toward China, compared to the previous team headed by Robert Lighthizer. According to our analysis, the new leadership team will choose to carry on the legacy of the Trump era in terms of economic and trade policies toward China, which includes attaching more importance to structural issues than to trade balance issues in the first-stage economic and trade agreements, and maintaining high tariffs against China as a bargaining chip in the new round of negotiation, and will also pay more attention to optimizing approaches and tools of the game. The policy options are suggested as follows. China need to choose an opportunity to release the progress report of both parties regarding the fulfillment of the reached agreement; seek consensus on general ideas and fight for space in setting rules; strengthen policy consultation and study on key issues such as labor and environment; encourage exchange and cooperation of think tanks and social institutions between the two countries; guide domestic and international media communication to create a favorable atmosphere for economic and trade dialogues and negotiations.

Keywords: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), new leadership team, U.S. trade policies toward China