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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

Biden Team Hints at Keeping Trump’s Tough Line Toward China

January 21, 2021

(Bloomberg) President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks signaled Tuesday that the new administration would continue some of Donald Trump’s hard-line economic policies toward China, with officials vowing to fight “abusive” trade practices and bar products from the region home to the nation’s ethnic Uighur Muslim minority.

Janet Yellen, Biden’s intended nominee for Treasury secretary, said during her confirmation hearing that the U.S. is “prepared to use the full array of tools” to address actions such as “dumping products, erecting trade barriers and giving illegal subsidies to corporations.”

Antony Blinken, the pick for secretary of state, said he agreed with the Trump administration’s designation that China’s crackdown on Uighurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region is a genocide. He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S. should bar imports of goods produced in Xinjiang and prohibit exports to companies that participate in rights violations there.

The relationship between the world’s two largest economies is seen remaining fraught under Biden since both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are eager to punish China for intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices. Biden told the New York Times last month that he won’t make any immediate moves on Trump’s tariffs on $350 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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