BIDEN TO INCLUDE UYGHUR ISSUE IN TRADE POLICY
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden will use "all available tools" to combat China's unfair trade practices and will prioritize addressing Beijing's forced labor program targeting Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday, according to Kyodo News.
The 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 USTR said in its report outlining the president's trade policy agenda for this year.
While noting that a review of U.S. trade policy toward China is underway, the report said the one-month-old administration is "committed to using all available tools to take on the range of China's unfair trade practices" including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and industrial subsidies.
The report also called it "a top priority" to address the widespread human rights abuses of the Chinese government's forced labor program against the ethnic and religious minority groups in the far-western Xinjiang autonomous region and elsewhere in the country.
"Americans and consumers around the world do not want products made with forced labor on store shelves, and workers should not be disadvantaged by competing with a state-sponsored regime of systematic repression," the USTR said.
The Biden administration will also work with allies and partners "to pressure the Chinese government to end its unfair trade practices and to hold China accountable," including for the human rights abuses perpetrated by its forced labor program, it said.
The previous administration under President Donald Trump was often criticized for its go-it-alone approach, seen as alienating allies and undermining an effective global response to China.
"Addressing the China challenge will require a comprehensive strategy and more systematic approach than the piecemeal approach of the recent past," the USTR said.
The Biden administration will re-engage with international institutions such as the World Trade Organization and will also work with allies and like-minded trading partners to establish "high-standard global rules to govern the digital economy, in line with our shared democratic values," according to the report.