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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in May. Photo: Pete Marovich/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will "build on" existing tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports as part of a strategy against the Chinese government for failing to meet commitments under the Trump-era Phase One deal, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in an interview with Politico on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tai's comments come as the Biden administration seeks a new trade strategy with Beijing while navigating U.S. companies' calls to lift tariffs.

  • China is behind on its commitment to purchase an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods, according to Politico.
  • With the Phase One deal signed by former President Trump set to expire at the end of 2021, the Biden administration will need to decide whether to renegotiate or move in a different direction, Politico notes.

What she's saying: Trump's tariffs "had the effect of getting a lot of people's attention," Tai told Politico.

  • She added that they are a "tool for creating the kind of effective policies, and [are] something for us to build on and to use in terms of defending to the hilt the interests of the American economy, the American worker and American businesses and our farmers, too."
  • "I think it's going to be important to review China's performance with China, and that's going to be the critical first step in my mind," Tai said.

The U.S.'s relationship with the European Union will be key to their strategy, she added.

  • "I do think that there is every reason for us, because of our shared interests, to build on the relationship between us," Tai told Politico. "For itself, because it is inherently valuable, but also to build on that relationship on a collaborative basis for taking on the challenges that we are both experiencing."

The big picture: Tai was confirmed in March and had promised that she "will not hesitate to make use of the agreement’s mechanisms when China falls short of its commitments."

What to watch: Tai will deliver a speech Monday on the U.S.-China trade relationship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, per Politico.

Go deeper: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Editors' note: The headline and lede have been edited to clarify Tai's comment that she would "build on" existing tariffs.

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2021 - Technology

Sen. Kelly: U.S. must develop new military tech to prevent future conflicts

Developing new military technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will be necessary to prevent a war with China or other adversaries, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said at an Axios event Friday.

Why it matters: With the war on terror ramping down and competition with China increasing, Kelly said it's time for the U.S. to adapt its military technology to address threats in the western Pacific, specifically China.

4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

37 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.