Washington Update

December 16th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Uyghur bill passes, enabling Burns confirmation vote

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Nicholas Burns as US ambassador to China after Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) released their hold on his nomination following the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The idea for a trade off was first conceived on Wednesday, when Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) argued that Burns and other State Department nominees must be confirmed so the United States “has the...

December 9th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

US and allies pledge diplomatic boycott of Olympics

On Monday, the White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the winter games hosted in Beijing in February next year in response to China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The United States was quickly joined by Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada, which have each decided not to send diplomatic or official government representation to the games. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the boycott takes a...

December 3rd, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Senate gridlock continues to stall NDAA progress

This week, the Senate resumed consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA). Though Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had hoped to pass the Senate’s version of the annual defense bill by the end of the week and begin conferencing with the House, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked Schumer’s attempt on Monday to begin voting on the Senate NDAA over concerns that non-China-...

November 18th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Biden-Xi virtual meeting works to prevent unintended conflict through dialogue 

On Monday, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting with several members of their senior staff to discuss the trajectory of the US-China relationship. The talks focused more on managing strategic risks and preventing unintentional conflict than devising solutions for contentious issues in the bilateral relationship. If you missed it, USCBC’s analysis of the meeting is available here....

November 12th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Biden and Xi present at APEC ahead of bilateral summit on Monday

Today, presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping each spoke at the virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting. Biden highlighted opportunities for the United States and Indo-Pacific nations to act collectively on issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, and stressed the need for shared cybersecurity and digital economy standards. Xi struck a similar tone on the pandemic and climate...

November 4th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Yellen supports a reciprocal “stabilizing” or eventual lowering of US-China tariffs 

This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai could consider “stabilizing” and eventually reciprocally lowering some US-China tariffs, which could have a “disinflationary” effect in the face of soaring prices in the United States. At the same time, Yellen noted that the Office of the US Trade Representative would continue to push for China to...

October 28th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Yellen and Liu build off of Tai-Liu engagement in second meeting

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier Liu He met via video call on Monday night to discuss areas for US-China macroeconomic cooperation. The United States’ readout of the call was brief and mentioned that Yellen “frankly” raised concerns. China’s readout noted that Liu expressed concern about existing US tariffs and sanctions. Yellen and Liu last met in June to discuss how the Biden administration would...

October 21st, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Burns puts economic and tech competition at center of US-China relationship

Biden’s nominee for US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. Burns took a hardline yet clear-eyed view on China, calling it the “strongest, most dangerous” US competitor in the world. Like several senior Biden administration officials, Burns believes that the US-China relationship should balance cooperation and competition. He said that...

October 14th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

US and China kick off new trade talks

Late last Friday, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and China’s Vice Premier Liu He met virtually to discuss US-China commercial issues and the two countries’ implementation of the Phase One trade deal. The conversation came after Tai had announced earlier that week that the Biden administration would use Phase One as a tool to maintain US-China dialogue on trade and address outstanding market access issues. 

Tai and Liu agreed on the...

October 7th, 2021
By USCBC Government Affairs

Sullivan and Yang build on momentum from Biden-Xi call at meeting in Switzerland

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Politburo Member and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi in Switzerland on Wednesday to identify areas where the United States and China can work together to address vital transnational challenges. Sullivan emphasized the importance of maintaining “open lines of communication” in order to ensure “responsible competition” and...