Three years after the US and China began a tit-for-tat trade war, the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration remain in place under President Biden, said the SCMP.
Since the signing of the phase one deal in January last year, Beijing has repeatedly urged the US to roll back its punitive tariffs and called on American business to help convince Washington. But US officials, including Trade Representative Katherine Tai, have said the tariffs will remain in place for now.
Although Biden has not pushed his China trade agenda to the front pages of the newspapers like his predecessor, he has very much carried on what Trump initiated, analysts said.
The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, and the terms outlined in the agreement took effect one month later.
As part of it, China committed to buying an additional US$200 billion worth of goods and services over 2020-21, relative to 2017 levels.
But according to a report released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), China's purchases of US goods from January to May reached only 69 per cent of the year-to-date target based on Chinese import data, and only 62 per cent of the target based on US export data.
An earlier PIIE report in February by economist Chad Bown said that a large part of the phase-one trade deal that entered into force a year before was a 'failure', after US exports of phase-one goods to China in 2020 fell more than 40 per cent short of the target.
According to the latest PIIE report, agriculture purchases under the phase-one trade deal reached 84 per cent of the 2021 commitment up until the end of May based on Chinese import data, and 86 per cent of the target based on US export data.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai held a 'candid and constructive' exchange on May 27, which was the first time top trade negotiators from China and the US had formally spoken since Joe Biden entered the White House.