Washington Update

June 12th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Lighthizer endorses worker-focused trade policy for 2020 

Next Wednesday, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will likely recommend a trade policy that prioritizes job creation and domestic manufacturing in annual testimony before the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees on the Trump administration’s 2020 trade agenda. In an essay published in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs, Lighthizer argues that a worker-focused trade policy would enable the...

June 5th, 2020
By Anna Ashton and Chynna Hawes

Amid uncertainty around Hong Kong’s status, administration moves on visa and travel announcements

There has been little movement to implement President Trump’s announcement last Friday that the United States would begin the process of revoking Hong Kong’s special treatment under US law, and there is little clarity on what specific privileges will be eliminated. Short of an executive order, Trump’s announcement essentially kicked-off what will likely be a longer-term, interagency...

May 29th, 2020
By Anna Ashton and Chynna Hawes

Administration revokes Hong Kong special trade status in response to erosion of autonomy by China   

Amid rising political pressure to hold China accountable, President Trump today announced the administration would begin the process of revoking Hong Kong’s special trade and economic status under US law in response to the National People’s Congress (NPC) decision to move forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong. This comes after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo...

May 22nd, 2020
By Anna Ashton and Chynna Hawes

Tensions over Hong Kong autonomy resurface during China’s NPC

US policymakers are preparing a strong response after China announced plans at the start of the National People’s Congress (NPC) this week to deliberate new national security legislation for Hong Kong to address subversive activity in the wake of last year’s pro-democracy protests. While President Trump hedged that we do not yet know what action China will take, he affirmed the US would address a move to undermine Hong Kong...

May 15th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Phase One moving forward despite Trump tough talk, but other tensions escalate

The US-China commercial relationship remains in the cross hairs of top US officials, while working level government staff continue to press for full implementation of the Phase One trade deal. In comments made throughout the week, President Trump increased rhetorical pressure on China, including returning to the use of inflammatory language about the pandemic, voicing impatience with China’s lack of...

May 8th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Phase One trade deal under increasing scrutiny and political pressure

The top US and Chinese trade negotiators spoke on Thursday evening in a move to shield the agreement from increasing scrutiny and mounting anti-China sentiment due to the coronavirus. In addition to discussing the economic impact of the coronavirus, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He agreed that good progress is being made and that both sides fully expect...

May 1st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

China ensnared in electoral politics up and down the ballot

Following the leak late last week of a National Republican Senatorial Committee memo advising candidates to aggressively attack China for COVID-19, the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans this week stepped up attacks targeting China’s role in the global pandemic. This includes reports that the administration is considering retaliatory actions to hold China accountable, such as by withholding debt payments,...

April 24th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

COVID-19 and the Phase One agreement, IP Action Plan

With political rhetoric around China and the COVID-19 pandemic still heating up, China continued to make progress toward implementing Phase One commitments this week. On Monday, China released the delayed Intellectual Property (IP) Action Plan which provides a detailed roadmap of measures to be taken over the next two years. USCBC is tracking progress and we encourage members to participate in our second survey to help inform US...

April 17th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Not-so-veiled attack on China in Trump’s WHO funding cut

This week, the White House continued to criticize the World Health Organization (WHO) for being too “China-centric,” kicking-off what may be a new cycle of escalating anti-China rhetoric in Washington. A fact sheet published by the White House on Wednesday asserts the WHO is biased toward the Chinese government and announces the United States will halt all funding to the organization while an investigation into its response to...

April 10th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

China remains likely focus as outlines of 2020 presidential campaign begin to emerge

China is likely to be a key election issue again with former Vice President Joe Biden this week becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee to face Trump in November. Trump released a campaign ad yesterday attacking Biden for being soft on China, highlighting Biden’s interest in a prosperous China. The ad also chides Biden for criticizing the administration’s COVID-19 travel ban targeting China.