A bipartisan congressionally convened panel is recommending Congress review China’s trade status after finding the country’s trade policies inconsistent with its World Trade Organization accession protocol.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission found that China’s “subsidies, overcapacity, intellectual property theft, and protectionist nonmarket policies” are not consistent with “the spirit and letter” of WTO protocols and “exacerbate distortions to the global economy.” Reviewing China’s trade ties was at the top of the commission’s 39 recommendations to Congress, released Tuesday in an annual report. If a congressional review finds China not compliant with WTO protocols, the commission recommends that Congress suspend China’s “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” status, which the United States established in a landmark agreement in 1999.
The report comes the day after President Joe Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the two countries’ deteriorating relationship—a meeting Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) feared would only expose Biden’s inability to stand up to China.
“We’re going to compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict. I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly,” Biden told reporters after the three-hour meeting.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was organized to investigate the national security implications of U.S.-Chinese economic policies. The commission recommended a 90-day deadline for the congressional review.
“There is a cost associated with the predatory trade practices of China on American workers and industries that has been well documented since their accession to the WTO,” Kim Glas, vice chairwoman of the commission, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re asking Congress to do a systematic and thorough review of that and determine what would normalized trade relationships look like.”
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