U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday outlined the Biden administration’s approach to managing relations with China during the 2024 presidential election year that places a heavy emphasis on minimizing the possibility of misunderstandings that could exacerbate tensions.
“Continuing to stabilize our relationship to prevent escalation won’t make news,” Yellen said in excerpts of a speech she will give Thursday evening at an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-China Business Council. “But our economies, our people — and, again, also economies and people around the world — will be safer and more secure.”
Yellen also said she would be making a second trip to China during 2024 as part of the administration’s effort to “maintain our commitment to clear communication” of U.S. intentions in areas such as sanctions, outbound investment, industrial subsidies and national security.
The remarks come as the Biden administration is continuing its review of the tariffs that former President Donald Trump imposed on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to determine whether any changes should be made.
Yellen did not address the tariff issue directly in the excerpts provided, but repeated that the Biden administration does not seek to “decouple” economically from China.
The excerpted remarks also did not address the possibility of Congress passing legislation to revoke “permanent normal trade relations” with China, which would rock the administration’s efforts to stabilize relations with Beijing.
The Treasury chief said the Biden administration will continue pressing for clarity on China’s economic policies and policymaking to better inform U.S. decision-making.
“We will continue to raise concerns on areas where the U.S. and China disagree, from the possible global spillovers of China’s industrial policies to actions China has taken that can disadvantage the private sector,” Yellen said. “We will also ask for greater transparency on China’s non-market practices and foreign exchange practices.”