Washington and Beijing began formal negotiations towards a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in June 2008. A year later, the highly sensitive talks were halted until July 2013. The US is interested in getting Chinese restrictions on foreign ownership in about 100 sectors — from soybean oil and automobiles to life insurance and other financial services — lifted for US companies which want to expand their market presence there. The Chinese government is interested in getting more security for highly-scrutinised Chinese investments in the US and its massive holdings of US sovereign debt ($1.3 trillion).
In late 2013, China agreed to initiate talks on a possible BIT with the European Union as well.
As the two-year deadline for the phase-one trade deal between the world’s two largest economies is approaching, all eyes are on the next step.
They reviewed the implementation of the phase one deal and agreed that the two sides would "consult on certain outstanding issues," the USTR office said.
China will likely fail in its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership — but its move to submit an application highlighted the lack of U.S. economic policy in Asia-Pacific, said analysts.
In this competition over standards, whichever nation first strikes a trilateral deal with technology leaders Japan and South Korea will secure a strategic chokepoint in the digital architecture of Asia.
USTR said the phase one trade deal was important but only one part of a challenging and complex relationship between the world’s two largest economies.
US Trade Representative said she expects to engage “in the near term” with Chinese officials to assess their implementation of the “Phase 1” trade deal.
Tai called on China to live up to the commitments in its trade pact with the US and wants to accomplish similar goals as her predecessor but in a more process-driven manner.
If decoupling is not in the cards, the United States must find a way to ensure trade improves the lives of workers – on both sides of the Pacific.
Analysts point to unrealistic goals in original deal with United States, and overall trade goals may continue to remain elusive in this year.
Joe Biden will not immediately cancel the Phase 1 trade agreement that President Donald Trump struck with China nor take steps to remove tariffs on Chinese exports.