China not likely to fulfil trade commitments to US as year ends

US-China worsening relations will deteriorate further if Beijing misses its obligations under a nearly expired trade agreement.

The Economic and Trade Agreement signed by the two superpowers in January 2020 is set to end on December 31 this year. Trade observers say China has not complied with a clause that obligates it to buy imports of manufactured goods, farm products, energy products, and certain services from the U.S. at a total of $200 billion more than the 2017 total. China purchased $186 billion in goods and services in 2017 before the trade war, according to U.S. government figures.

Matthew Goodman, senior vice president for economics with the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies said China has had trouble complying because of delays in Chinese aircraft orders from the US and pandemic-related setbacks.

“I do think that the Biden administration is going to follow through on this agreement and hold China to account,” Goodman said

“I don’t see any reason that they’re going to change tack,” he added.

Further, the nearly four-year-old trade dispute launched by Trump over the Sino-Us trade imbalance has placed tariffs on USD 550 billion worth of goods, including USD 350 billion originating in China. The dispute also led to a chill in broader two-way relations that would run through Trump’s term.

Further, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a speech at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in October that the U.S. government will discuss with China its “performance”.

“Under the agreement, China had made commitments that benefit certain American industries, including agriculture, that we must enforce,” she said.

The U.S. side will “work to enforce the terms of phase one,” she added, referring to the terms of the deal.

Further, China is the largest goods trading partner of the United States, with USD 559.2 billion passing both ways in 2020, according to the trade representative’s office. (ANI)