On China, he said he would not act immediately to remove the 25 percent tariffs that Trump imposed on about half of China’s exports to the United States — or the Phase 1 agreement Trump inked with China that requires Beijing to purchase some $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services during the period 2020 and 2021 — which China has fallen significantly behind on.
“I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs,” he said. “I’m not going to prejudice my options.”
He first wants to conduct a full review of the existing agreement with China and consult with our traditional allies in Asia and Europe, he said, “so we can develop a coherent strategy.”
“The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page. It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies.”
China’s leaders had their issues with Trump, but they knew that as long as he was president, the United States could never galvanize a global coalition against them. Biden’s strategy, if he can pull it off, will not be welcome news for China.
While Trump was focused on the trade deficit with China, with little success, despite his trade war, Biden said his “goal would be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices — that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations” and forcing “tech transfers” from American companies to their Chinese counterparts.
When dealing with China, Biden concluded, it is all about “leverage,” and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” Part of generating more leverage, though, is developing a bipartisan consensus at home for some good old American industrial policy — massive, government-led investments in American research and development, infrastructure and education to better compete with China — and not just complain about it. Both Democratic and Republican senators have draft bills calling for such a strategy. The U.S. semiconductor industry in particular has been lobbying for such an
President-elect Joe Biden is considering naming a White House 'Asia tsar' on the National Security Council, a move that signals the region's importance in tackling challenges from China, the Financial Times newspaper said on Tuesday.
Biden's administration would appoint the "right people and structures" to promote US interests and values alongside its allies, it said, citing a transition team official.
The Financial Times reported that five people familiar with the debate inside the Biden transition team said he was weighing the option to create the role in the National Security Council. Establishing the position would underscore how the region has become even more critical since the Obama administration’s “Asia pivot”.
The tsar role is one of several ideas being considered by Jake Sullivan, the incoming national security adviser. Any move would reflect how US-China relations have become more complicated and tense during the presidency of Donald Trump and since Mr Biden left his position as vice-president four years ago. It would also highlight the challenges Washington and its allies face dealing with an increasing assertive China.
Biden's transition team did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.