Having waited eight months for US Trade Representative Katherine Tai's promised "top-to-bottom" policy review of trade with China, some US industries and experts were complaining over the plan's lack of specifics on negotiations or timing.
Unveiling her plan on Monday, Tai, President Joe Biden's top trade official, pledged to hold talks with Chinese officials over their failure to meet the terms of former President Donald Trump's "Phase 1" trade deal, and to revive a process to grant exclusions from tariffs on Chinese imports.
"She's going to re-engage with China and that's a good thing," said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University trade economist who attended Tai's speech in Washington. "But her whole plan seems to be, 'I'm going to have a conversation.'"
Tai will leave in place most of Trump's controversial tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as she launches discussions with her counterpart, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. She will raise US concerns about China's industrial subsidies, but did not outline specific plans to tackle Beijing's policies that the US believes undermine free trade.