Washington Update

September 23rd, 2021
By Anna Ashton and Allie Klein

Biden and Xi tell UN they are not seeking conflict

President Joe Biden delivered his first speech before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Biden stressed that he welcomes competition but not “a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs.” President Xi Jinping offered similar reassurances in his pre-recorded remarks, saying China will never “invade or bully” others and has “no intention to fight a Cold War or hot war with any country.”  

Biden identified several...

September 16th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Biden reaches out to Xi as US ponders new Section 301 investigation

Last week, President Joe Biden initiated a phone call with President Xi Jinping after a series of less senior conversations had stalled. The White House readout shares that the presidents discussed several broad, strategic issues and are considering a face-to-face meeting in the future, while sticking to an “ongoing” and “high-level” communication channel in the meantime. According to China’s Ministry of Foreign...

September 9th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Commerce indicates controls on foundational technologies still under consideration

During a US-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on Wednesday, Acting Undersecretary for the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Jeremy Pelter said that foundational technologies should be controlled using multilateral regimes. While it is unclear if or when BIS will take action, Pelter’s statement is the strongest indication yet of the Biden administration’s...

September 2nd, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

US-China tensions threaten to derail climate collaboration

This week, US Climate Envoy John Kerry traveled to China to continue climate discussions with his counterpart, Climate Envoy Xie Zhenhua, and also met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. While both sides agree that climate change must be addressed in coordination, Wang argued that collaboration on climate change cannot be divorced from the overall US-China relationship and that the United States must bring the relationship “back on...

August 26th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Nicholas Burns officially nominated as ambassador to China

Last Friday, the Biden administration nominated Nicholas Burns to serve as US ambassador to China. Burns’s nomination has been anticipated since May and comes just weeks after Qin Gang, the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, arrived in Washington. Burns is a career diplomat who has served as under secretary for political affairs and ambassador to NATO at the State Department. Biden’s decision to select a skilled...

August 19th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

It was a quiet week in Washington on the China front, as the administration and policymakers were focused on Afghanistan and Congress is out of town for August recess. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is quietly continuing its comprehensive China policy review, which is expected to conclude in the fall.

Congress continues to grapple with how to fit multiple China packages into this year’s packed legislative calendar. It is still unclear where China legislation falls in Congress’s...

August 12th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Infrastructure bill with handful of China provisions passes Senate, moves to House

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, which must be approved by the House before becoming law. The bill contains several provisions that impact the US-China relationship, some of which were added to the substitute amendment introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and accepted as part of the final agreement this week. In addition to provisions...

August 5th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Senate’s infrastructure bill includes China elements

In advance of a planned month-long August recess, the Senate focused on the bipartisan infrastructure package this week. Though the bill’s primary focus is traditional domestic infrastructure, it includes several provisions relevant to the US-China commercial relationship. More could be added as negotiations on amendments continue. 

Study of China’s labor practices in the electric vehicle industry: The proposal would require...
July 29th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Sherman-Wang meeting in Tianjin touches on thorny issues

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng in Tianjin. Though the meeting was reportedly contentious at times, it allowed the United States and China to establish red lines and demands to guide future engagements. 

During the “frank and open” discussion, Sherman raised several concerns about PRC actions  in Xinjiang, Hong Kong,...

July 22nd, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Wendy Sherman and Wang Yi to meet in China this weekend

After hitting some roadblocks on the way to confirming a meeting, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin over July 25–26. This will be the first high-level US-China meeting since Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Wang and Politburo Member Yang Jiechi this past winter in Alaska. According to the State...

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