The White House has signaled to its economic allies that it will disapprove of and respond to attempts to land new trade deals with China, the Financial Times reports, in a bid to further pressure Beijing.
The Trump administration included in its revised Nafta-style agreement with Canada and Mexico a clause requiring signatory states to notify the US of trade negotiations with any “non-market economy,” a move widely understood to be aimed at China. This provision may also entail disclosure of details of the trade talks and gives the US the option to back out from the Nafta deal if a new arrangement is reached.
This principle will be used with other US allies, according to one senior White House official, affecting pipeline deals with the EU, Japan, and any post-Brexit UK trade talks.
“Will this be a precedent for the future? Absolutely,” the official said. “It is important that we make sure that any agreements we enter into do not ultimately get undermined and [that] China does not find a back door way to gain access to the US market.”