Washington Update

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.

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...