Grassley Fears Biden USTR Throwing in Towel on China Phase 2 


Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley fears the Biden Administration is “throwing in the towel” on a China Phase 2 deal, after a speech by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Grassley cites Tai’s comments that China has not lived up to its Phase 1 commitments on Ag buys and import standards and is an “unpredictable market” for U.S. Agriculture; “Ambassador Tai made no mention of getting a Phase 2 agreement, where we could focus on China’s non-market trade practices…it seems like the Biden Administration then, without pursuing Phase 2, is throwing in the towel.”

Grassley says Tai’s restarting tariff exclusions for US businesses shows the administration will still use tariffs as the last White House, but not in a way to force China to negotiate. As for its approach to other trade deals.

“Well, it’s not going to create new markets—and that’s the problem. I hope it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to enforce existing trade agreements—they surely wouldn’t be lax in that area.  And I suppose it’s this administration’s emphasis on domestic policy is just overriding.”

Grassley wishes Tai was “battling” within the administration to do more on trade and predicts China at 89-percent of its Ag commitments so far this year, could still reach its $80 billion two-year target.