WASHINGTON (Dispatches) - A group of influential U.S. entrepreneurs from different sectors have appealed to the administration of President Joe Biden to resume trade negotiations with China and reduce import duties, which, in their opinion, are detrimental to the U.S. economy, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing the letter.
The document sent to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was joined by nearly three dozen of the country’s most influential business groups representing retailers, chip makers, farmers and other sectors, the newspaper said.
“A worker-centered trade agenda should account for the costs that U.S. and Chinese tariffs impose on Americans here and at home and remove tariffs that harm U.S. interests”, the letter said, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
The business reps claimed Beijing had met important benchmarks and commitments under the previous administration’s trade agreement with China, including opening markets to the U.S. financial institutions and lowering some regulatory barriers for the U.S. agricultural exports, according to the newspaper.
Among those who joined the letter are some of the U.S.’s most influential big business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Retail Federation, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Last month, U.S. and Chinese officials held a high-level meeting in the Chinese city of Tianjin. China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman the two countries’ relationship “is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties.”
“Fundamentally, it is because some Americans portray China as an ‘imagined enemy’. We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy”, Xie said.
According to state news agency Xinhua, the Chinese side presented the U.S with two lists, one of “errors” it needed to address, and the other of issues Beijing deemed important.
The first list urged Washington to drop its extradition request of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, remove sanctions on Chinese officials, lift visa restrictions on Chinese students, and stop suppressing Chinese companies, among others.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated in the last several years. Ex-U.S. president Donald Trump used tariffs and sanctions in a bid to address longstanding criticism against China, such as unequal market access, lack of intellectual property protection and forcing businesses to transfer technology in order to operate in the country.