Biden's trade representative talks China with Japanese officials

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has signaled her openness to using tariffs to enforce trade accords
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has signaled her openness to using tariffs to enforce trade accords Bill O'Leary POOL/AFP/File
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Washington (AFP)

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday discussed China's trade practices in calls with Japanese ministers, as President Joe Biden weighs how to handle trade relations with Beijing.

Tai, who was confirmed as Biden's trade negotiator last week, "shared concerns about unfair trading practices from non-market economies, such as China," according to readouts of the calls with Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Kajiyama Hiroshi and Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu.

The United States and China in January 2020 signed an accord that cooled tensions after a bruising battle initiated by former president Donald Trump that saw tariffs imposed by both sides.

Biden has said he won't immediately change Trump's trade policies, and in her confirmation hearings, Tai said she supported a "holistic review on China" and Washington's strategy with Beijing.

She also signaled her openness to using tariffs, adding that the Biden administration may keep in place steep levies Trump imposed against steel and aluminum imports.