The Trump Administration & US - Indo-Pacific Relations

This resource will track statements, developments, visits, and other interactions in US-Indo-Pacific relations under the President Trump administration. Special focus will be given to the comments and activities of President Donald J. Trump; Vice President Mike Pence; United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer; Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

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Ambassador Lighthizer's Remarks on WTO Panel Ruling Concerning US Actions Against China

"Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer today criticized a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report that stated that actions taken by the U.S. to combat China’s widespread and damaging theft of American technology and intellectual property were inconsistent with WTO rules.

“This panel report confirms what the Trump Administration has been saying for four years: The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the…

Statement on Call Between the United States and China - United States Trade Representative

"Washington, DC – Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin participated in a regularly scheduled call this evening with China’s Vice Premier Liu He to discuss implementation of the historic Phase One Agreement between the United States and China. The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer. The parties also discussed…

U.S. Trade Representative on 2020 Trade Policy Agenda - Senate Hearing

Ambassador Lighthizer's Testimony Before the House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Trade Policy

Ambassador Lighthizer's Op-Ed in "Foreign Affairs" - China

"The principles of a worker-focused trade policy should be front and center as the United States confronts two of the most significant trade challenges it will face in the coming years: market-distorting state capitalism in China and a dysfunctional WTO.

No trade policy decision since the end of World War II proved more devastating to working people than the extension of permanent normal trade relations to China in 2000—a legal status entitling it to the lowest possible tariffs. Despite President Bill…

Ambassador Lighthizer's Remarks on U.S.-China Phase One Agreement

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today announced additional progress in the implementation of the agriculture-related provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement (The Agreement), which entered into force on February 14, 2020. Recent actions described below build upon the actions announced by USDA and USTR on February 25, March 10, and March 24. These are difficult times for both our countries. It is important that we each continue to…

USTR and Treasury Statement on Call With China

"Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer participated in a conference call today. They discussed economic and trade issues, including the recently concluded Phase One agreement. The parties shared updates on COVID-19 and their assessments of its effects on economic growth as well as the measures their countries are taking to provide support to their economies.

The parties discussed the ongoing process of implementing the Phase One agreement between the two countries that went into effect February…

USDA and USTR Announce Progress on Implementation of U.S.-China Phase One Agreement

"U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020.

These actions include:

  • Signing a protocol that allows the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (U.S. Chipping Potatoes Protocol Announcement);
  • Lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products…

President Trump Signs Trade Agreement with China

Joint Statement of the Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers of Japan, the United States and the European Union

"Mr. KAJIYAMA Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, and Mr. Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Trade, met in Washington, D.C. on 14 January 2020.

On industrial subsidies, the Ministers discussed ways to strengthen existing WTO rules on industrial subsidies and agreed upon the following:

1. The current list of prohibited subsidies provided for in Article 3.1 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) is insufficient to tackle market and trade distorting subsidization…

Statement From USTR Ambassador Lighthizer - China

Bob Davis and Lingling Wei at the Wall Street Journal, based on anonymous sources, have reported at least three times this week that the United States negotiators offered to cut by as much as one half the tariff rates on approximately $360 billion of Chinese imports in exchange for certain purchases.

While we do not comment on the content of negotiations, we have said publicly and on the record that this is totally false, untrue and baseless. It did not happen.

In addition…