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US will 'take all steps necessary' to defend itself on China trade

The US has promised a new approach to trade relations with China, saying it will take "all steps necessary" to protect US interests "to the hilt".

Trade Representative Katherine Tai said she will seek new talks with Beijing over its failure to keep promises made in the first part of a trade deal struck with Donald Trump.

She also did not rule out deploying further trade tariffs.

Yet the US will drop a plan to make China reform its "non-market economy".

Instead, Ms Tai said America had to become more competitive in the face of China's growing economic might.

"For too long, China's lack of adherence to global trading norms has undercut the prosperity of Americans and others around the world," she told a briefing in Washington.

"We must defend - to the hilt - our economic interests... That means taking all steps necessary to protect ourselves against the waves of damage inflicted over the years through unfair competition."

Since 2017, the US and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods after Washington accused Beijing of blocking access to its markets and stealing American intellectual property.

Under a Phase 1 deal struck by Donald Trump, China promised to increase its purchases of US agricultural and other goods to rebalance the relationship.

But Ms Tai, who was appointed by President Joe Biden in April, said the Chinese government continued to "pour billions of dollars" into subsidising industries such as agriculture, steel and semi-conductors, making it impossible for the US to compete.

She promised to reopen talks with Beijing in the coming days and to "enforce" the commitments it made.

She also refused to rule out deploying further trade tariffs, saying "all available tools" remained on the table in protecting the American economy.




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