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US-China talks will be tough, but re-engagement is good: Expert


The U.S.-China negotiations will be difficult, but reengagement may prove to be the right strategy according to an executive director at a U.S. think tank.

Wendy Cutler from the Asia Society Policy Institute made these comments after U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday said she is looking forward to negotiations with the Chinese.

Cutler spoke to CNBC “Squawk Box Asia”China’s situation is very different today from it was in two years prior to the so-called “Great Recession”. “phase one” trade dealThat was done in conjunction with Trump’s administration.

Beijing is now very confident and has a “very hardline attitude,” said Cutler who was formerly Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and APEC Affairs.

“It’s going to be tough sledding, but then again, I think Ambassador Tai, by laying out the fact she wants to reengage with China — that is the right strategy for now,” she said.

Tai on Monday also said she doesn’t know if she can trust Beijing until she has the chance to speak to her counterparts — a stance that foreign legal consultant at Hogan Lovells, Benjamin Kostrzewa, agreed with.

Kostrzewa who used to be the Office of U.S. Commerce Representative’s assistant general counsel, stated that “I believe she is correct to enter these talks with some suspicion.” “The discussions between the Biden administration and China … have been very difficult so far.”

CNBC reported that he spoke to them “Capital Connection”On Tuesday, it was revealed that disagreements on both sides are making it more difficult for a consensus to be reached and that there is “no real ramp” for tensions between China and the U.S.

Cutler of Asia Society stated that bilateral negotiations won’t lead to a clear path toward resolution.

Cutler stated that Tai appeared to be realistic, and recognized the possibility of China rejecting to address U.S. concerns. In such a case Washington could use other means to respond.

However, she said that the ex-trade negotiator sees a possible “thaw” in Washington’s relations with Beijing. noting that the two presidents spoke on the phone recently.

Tai announced that she would reengage her Chinese counterpart. This signals an openness to finding a solution to tensions.

— CNBC’s Amanda Macias and Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.