USTR's Office of China Affairs is responsible for managing the formulation and implementation of U.S. trade policy for the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macao, Mongolia and Taiwan, with the goal of increasing access for U.S. products and services in these markets and ensuring that World Trade Organization (WTO) and bilateral commitments are enforced.
Select one of the tabs at left to connect to specific trade data and policy information for each of these trading partners.
Following China’s accession to the WTO in December 2001, the United States and China pursued a series of high-level bilateral dialogues in the areas of trade and investment. These dialogues included the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Through these dialogues, the United States sought not only to resolve significant trade and investment irritants, but also to encourage China to pursue market-oriented policies and become a more responsible member of the WTO. These bilateral efforts were largely unsuccessful because Chinese policymakers were not interested in moving toward a true market economy.
Faced with these realities, in 2017, the United States shifted to a new, more aggressive approach to its engagement of China. The United States made clear that it would defend U.S. companies and workers from China’s unfair trading practices and would seek to restore balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China. As part of these efforts, the United States would take all appropriate actions to ensure that the costs of China’s non-market economic system are borne by China, not by the United States. The United States would also continue to encourage China to make fundamental structural changes to its approach to the economy and trade consistent with the open, market-oriented approach pursued by other WTO members, which is rooted in the principles of non-discrimination, market access, reciprocity, fairness and transparency. Consistent with this more aggressive approach to China, the United States is now using all available tools – including domestic trade actions, bilateral negotiations, WTO litigation, and strategic engagement with like-minded trading partners – to respond to the unique and very serious challenges presented by China. But, the goal for the United States remains the same. The United States seeks a trade relationship with China that is fair, reciprocal and balanced.
On January 15, 2020, the United States and China signed an historic economic and trade agreement, known as the “Phase One Agreement.” This Phase One Agreement requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of (1) intellectual property, (2) technology transfer, (3) agriculture, (4) financial services, and (5) currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One Agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the Phase One Agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. A copy of the Phase One Agreement can be found here. Fact sheets describing the Phase One Agreement can be found here.
The most recent annual USTR Report to Congress on China’s WTO Compliance can be found here.
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. It operates as a separate customs territory.
Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. It operates as a separate customs territory.
The U.S.-Mongolia TIFA is the key mechanism for bilateral dialogue between the United States and Mongolia through which the two sides seek to address bilateral trade and investment issues and to coordinate on regional and multilateral matters. The two sides signed the TIFA in July 1994. The TIFA created a U.S.-Mongolia Council, which meets regularly. The most recent meeting of the TIFA Council took place in May 2015 in Ulaanbaatar.
The United States and Mongolia signed an Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment in September 2013. This agreement entered into force in March 2017. The agreement applies to matters relating to international trade and investment and includes joint commitments to provide opportunities for public comment on proposed laws and regulations and to publish final laws and regulations. This publication commitment includes the obligation to publish final laws and regulations in English, which should make it easier for U.S. and other foreign enterprises to do business in, and invest in, Mongolia. The agreement also commits the two parties to ensure that administrative agencies apply fair, impartial and reasonable procedures and that persons affected by the decisions of administrative agencies have a right to appeal those decisions. Additional commitments address the application of disciplines on bribery and corruption. A copy of the agreement can be found here.
The United States and Mongolia signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in October 1994. The treaty entered into force in January 1997.
The U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) is the key mechanism for bilateral dialogue between the United States and Taiwan through which the two sides seek to address trade and investment issues and to coordinate on regional and multilateral matters. The two sides signed the TIFA in 1994. The TIFA created a U.S.-Taiwan Council, which meets regularly. The most recent meeting of the TIFA Council took place in October 2016 in Washington.