Written by By Staff Writer, Kenny Schwartz, CNN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United States Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to urge Vice President Joe Biden to address the impact of China’s monetary policy on global growth, while urging the White House to take action on Chinese trade restrictions.
In a letter dated April 18 and circulated by the groups, a group of more than two dozen leading business organizations are calling on Biden to address China’s “excessive savings” as well as unfair practices and tariffs, including the 10% tariff applied to imported soybeans.
Their demands come at a time when Mr. Trump has placed high expectations on China and the other major emerging economies to deliver robust growth to help bring down the unemployment rate and boost economic prosperity throughout the developed world.
On April 8, Asia’s finance ministers met in Hanoi to discuss the challenges faced by the region during a “period of uncertainty and volatility” caused by a trade dispute between the United States and China.
Trade war fears persist
Relations between the United States and China have reached a low point, as a tit-for-tat trade war and exchange of harsh public criticisms between the two powers has placed trade on the table.
For instance, Mr. Trump has indicated that he plans to use the authority provided by Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to investigate, at a later stage, whether China has “abused its trade surplus with the United States” through intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and other unfair practices.
Chinese President Xi Jinping won’t rule out slapping additional tariffs
President Xi Jinping is also pushing for the completion of an economic and trade agreement with the United States during this year.
But the perception in the business community in the United States is that US businesses and workers are particularly concerned over trade barriers imposed by China and other major emerging economies.
In April, the United States Chamber of Commerce issued its Spring 2018 China Policy Statement calling on Congress to review an existing law that gives president the unilateral power to impose tariffs on non-American imports, including those from China.
China’s challenge to US tech demands
Trade tensions have not reached a low, according to top government officials in Washington, who have been lobbying for US companies to step up their investment in China.
On April 17, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, met with top Chinese officials in Beijing and outlined the challenges that China faces in stemming North Korea’s nuclear program, an issue that has prompted US accusations of cyber-theft of intellectual property.
Also that day, acting US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish also met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Hejun, and addressed tariffs on solar panel and hydroelectric power exports and intellectual property theft.