President Biden spoke at length today about what the US must do in order to hold China accountable regarding imports, exports, and human rights issues.
“Earlier this month, and apparently got the Chinese attention, that’s not why I did it, I met with our allies and how we’re going to hold China accountable in the region; Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, the so-called quad. Because we have to have democracies working together. Before too long, I’m going to have — I’m going to invite an alliance of democracies to come here to discuss the future, and so we’re going to make it clear that in order to deal with these things, we are going to hold China accountable to follow the rules; to follow the rules,” Biden said.
There is currently a tariff on the majority of the goods being shipped from China into the United States. The average rate is 19% — more than six times higher than before the trade war began in 2018, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. American importers pay those duties.
The tariffs on Chinese-made goods have cost American importers more than $82 billion so far, according to US Customs and Border Protection.
Biden also addressed lingering human rights issues plaguing China.
“Americans value the notion of freedom. America values human rights. We don’t always live up to our expectations but it’s a value system. … And as long as you and your country continue to so blatantly violate human rights, we’re going to continue in an unrelenting way to call to the attention of the world and make it clear, make it clear what’s happening,” he said today.
More background: The US announced sanctions Monday against two Chinese officials for “serious human rights abuses” against Uyghur Muslims, a step coordinated with allies including the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom, which imposed sanctions on the same individuals and others, the Treasury Department said.
The announcement was part of a broader show of unity by the US and its international allies, all voicing condemnation for Beijing’s repression of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province.
Watch Biden’s response: