By Yuka Hayashi 

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration said Monday it will use "all available tools" to respond to alleged unfair trading practices by Beijing as it conducts a comprehensive review of its trade policy with China.

Releasing its first trade agenda, the administration said it is committed to using tariffs and other tools to combat alleged unfair trade practices by China, including unfair subsidies to favored industries and use of forced labor that targets Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities.

"The Biden administration recognizes that China's coercive and unfair trade practices harm American workers, threaten our technological edge, weaken our supply-chain resiliency and undermine our national interests, " the administration said. "Addressing the China challenge will require a comprehensive strategy and more systematic approach."

Beijing has defended its trade practices and its treatment of Uyghurs, which it says is aimed at preventing terrorist attacks.

Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. negotiated a trade agreement that calls for China to increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years, open its financial markets and ease pressure on U.S. firms to hand over technology.

Since that deal was signed a little over a year ago, however, China has fallen behind target for U.S. purchases, in part because of economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tariffs remain on about $370 billion in annual imports from China, which the Biden administration is expected to retain as leverage to force Beijing to comply with the terms of the deal.

Congress requires the president to issue a trade agenda and report annually, which gives the administration a chance to explain its trade policy in detail.

In the new report, the administration said its "worker-centered" trade policy, pledged earlier by President Biden, will feature "extensive engagement" with unions and other worker advocates.

Past trade policies will be reviewed for their impact on workers, and labor obligations in existing trade agreements will be fully enforced, it said.

In particular, the administration is committed to using a new mechanism designed to rapidly address violations of labor standards under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. The agreement was renegotiated by the Trump administration and Congress to upgrade the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As part of the administration's broader strategy to address climate change, its trade agenda will include the negotiation and implementation of strong environmental standards in areas such as fisheries, logging and wildlife trafficking.

(More to come)

Write to Yuka Hayashi at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 01, 2021 14:14 ET (19:14 GMT)

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