Summary

On Monday, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), an influential think tank in Washington D.C. The speech was expected to kick off the process of carving a path forward in the tumultuous US-China trade relationship, creating a more permanent institutional framework that would: 1) hold China to account for its trade transgressions; and 2) foster greater resilience and self-sufficiency in industries dubbed strategic for US economic interests. What the speech actually delivered fell short on both counts, painting the picture of an administration that is eager to defer to Trump-era policies for fear of rocking the boat with the United States’ largest trade partner.