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Gina Raimondo, U.S. commerce secretary, speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2022.

Gina Raimondo, U.S. commerce secretary, speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg)

The U.S. will hold China to account for failing to meet the purchase targets pledged in trade deal inherited from the Trump administration, President Joe Biden’s commerce chief said.

“We intend to hold them to account,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said on Bloomberg Television’s European Close with Guy Johnson, Kailey Leinz and David Westin on Wednesday. U. S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai “is in the thick of those negotiations now,” she said, adding that Beijing “is not playing by the rules” as the government subsidizes companies, limiting American businesses’ ability to compete.

China rejected that accusation Thursday, arguing that the nation had done its best to live up to the terms of the 2020 deal.

“Since the agreement took effect, China has made efforts to overcome the negative impact of the pandemic, global economic recession and supply chain disruptions to push for both sides to implement the agreement,” Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said in Beijing. “We hope the U.S. will cancel tariffs on Chinese goods and other punitive measures, to create a good environment for the two sides to expand their trade.”

China was more than one-third short of its purchase commitments for goods from the U.S. under the deal crafted by the Trump administration, Bloomberg News analysis of Commerce Department Census Bureau data shared Tuesday. China bought only 62.9% of the extra goods it promised in the so-called phase one deal in the two years through the end of 2021.

China missed its purchase targets in the energy sector the most, purchasing only one-third of the exports it had pledged. It also bought less than 65% of manufacturing goods it promised.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also urging the Biden administration to hold China accountable on trade, said Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president and head of international affairs.

He told reporters Wednesday knows from consultations over roughly the past week that it is considering a range of options that likely would not in the short-term mean more tariffs.


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