Washington Update

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.

April 3rd, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

US-China commercial tensions will outlast COVID-19

A call last Thursday between Presidents Trump and Xi appears to have brought tensions over the COVID-19 response under control for now. This week, US government officials including Trump have emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation, which includes the delivery of Chinese medical equipment to the United States this week. USCBC sources indicate officials at all levels have maintained frequent communication. However, immediate...

March 27th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Amid bilateral tensions and COVID-19 outbreak, US and China make progress on Phase One

US and Chinese officials leading the Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Offices, part of the Phase One agreement enforcement mechanism, are expected to hold their first formal call today to discuss implementation of the deal. Assistant United States Trade Representative Terry McCartin will lead the US team, and a deputy general from the Ministry of Finance is expected to lead for China....

March 20th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Trump invokes wartime authorities to combat coronavirus, still waiting for Buy American EO

The White House announcement invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) delegates authority to Health and Human Services to prioritize and allocate existing medical resources, including through contracts with the private sector. It does not include measures to increase supply, like loans, purchase commitments, or subsidies. However, two of the main advocates...

March 13th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Suspending tariffs may be gaining support due to COVID-19

While some in the administration remain opposed to any tariff cuts, US-China Business Council sources indicate others, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, are floating the idea of temporarily removing or rolling back a portion of tariffs as one way to support the economy as the United States assesses the economic toll of COVID-19. A growing number of lawmakers are also...

March 6th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Export controls conversation moving forward despite Commerce personnel shake-up

The tightening of the direct product and de minimis rules, targeting Huawei, remain on the table despite a key personnel change at the Department of Commerce. On Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that Earl Comstock, director of policy and strategic planning, would be stepping down today. It is unclear exactly what prompted the announcement, or who will replace Comstock, but the decision has...

February 28th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

China begins fulfilling Phase One agriculture commitments

This week saw the beginning of concrete steps by China to implement elements of the Phase One agreement, notably the agricultural commitments, which were among the most substantial. On Tuesday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue outlined several actions China has taken to remove or reduce agriculture-related barriers included in Phase One commitments....