The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer criticised Beijing’s failure to address key problems in how it conducts trade with the rest of the world less than two weeks before presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet to discuss possible resolutions to the ongoing spat, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“China has not fundamentally altered its unfair, unreasonable and market-distorting practices,” Lighthizer wrote in a 50-page report published Tuesday.
The report is a follow-up on a statement made in March accusing China of forcing US firms to share sensitive and market-leading technology if they wanted to do business on the mainland. The March report is presented as the basis of the White House’s decision to levy tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year.
The latest document reiterates similar charges of technology theft and espionage, as well as claims that recent opening-up policies for China’s auto market, such as equity caps for foreign firms, will be quietly removed in the next few years.
Many China hawks in the administration were dissatisfied with Beijing’s recent list of possible trade compromises, and are worried the President will seek a hasty deal at the G20 summit to give markets a temporary boost.