Sen. Rick Scott to USTR: What's the Plan to Stop Communist China's Unfair Trade Practices?

December 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai requesting information about the Biden administration’s plans to stand up to Communist China’s unfair trade practices and refusal to comply with the Phase 1 trade agreement. This month marks 20 years after Communist China entered the World Trade Organization, a decision which has come at an immense cost to the American economy.


Read the letter HERE or below.


December 20, 2021


The Honorable Katherine Tai
United States Trade Representative
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20508


Dear Ambassador Tai,


Earlier this year, I was pleased to support your nomination as U.S. Trade Representative, and have been encouraged by your tone on how the United States must address the challenges posed by Communist China. Unfortunately, as Communist China celebrates the 20-year anniversary if its admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and President Biden concludes his first year in office, I remain gravely concerned that he, and this administration more broadly, has yet to commit to a strong and consistent strategy to combat Communist China’s unfair trade practices which harm American families and businesses of all sizes.


Communist China’s admission into the WTO has come at an immense cost to the U.S. According to the Economic Policy Institute, as of 2020, the U.S. trade deficit with Communist China resulted in the loss of 3.7 million American jobs from 2001 to 2018.[1] This should come as no surprise given our nation’s unwillingness to consistently hold Communist China accountable over the past two decades for stealing American technology and refusing to open its markets to foreign goods, as required under the WTO. Beijing’s unfair practices, and its willingness to skirt international norms, harm countries, like the U.S., that support a rules-based trading system and it’s wrong that it continues be rewarded by the WTO.


As part of the Phase 1 trade agreement with the U.S., Communist China agreed to a target purchase of $378 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and energy goods. Since October 2021, it has only purchased $210.4 billion – just 56% of its committed purchases.[2] It is abundantly clear that Communist China has not complied with the Phase 1 trade deal, and given their track record of lying and cheating, it’s doubtful they ever will. What’s worse, as Beijing fails to uphold its end of the bargain and hurt American workers, the Biden administration is taking actions, like ending the Keystone Pipeline XL, which are killing American jobs and thereby doing the bidding of General Secretary Xi and weakening the American economy.


The American people, who’ve been harmed by the Chinese Communist Party’s economic wrongdoing, deserve to know how this administration is holding the Communist Chinese government accountable. I respectfully request you answer the following questions in writing:

  • How many high-level trade related discussions has the Biden administration had with Communist China? Please specify what plans exist for future trade discussions.
  • In detail, describe the Biden administration’s current and future plans to crack down on Communist China’s illegal trade practices, including what plans, if any, exist to inform the public about Beijing’s failure to uphold the Phase 1 trade agreement. Please include information on how Beijing’s human rights abuses inform the Biden administration’s approach to trade.
  • Assuming that President Biden will quickly sign the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law, how do you plan to immediately implement the provisions of the bill and ensure goods entering the United States from Communist China are free from Uyghur slave labor?
  • How does the Biden administration plan to address Communist China’s manufacturing and exportation of fentanyl in our trade strategy?
  • Does the Biden administration support a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan?
  • Do you believe that the WTO should continue to classify Communist China as a “developing nation?” If not, what steps are you taking to push the WTO to alter its designation?


The United States must be the leading voice for fair and free trade around the world. We have a responsibility to ensure Communist China is held accountable for its unfair practices. I look forward to your response on this very important matter.




Rick Scott

United States Senator



[1] Robert E. Scott and Zane Mokhiber, “Growing China trade deficit cost 3.7 million American jobs between 2001 and 2018.” Economic Policy Institute, January 30, 2020.

[2] “China Slows Its Progress on U.S. Trade Deal Purchases Amid Talks.” Bloomberg, November 23, 2021.