Source: wechat official account: Bu Yidao has been authorized to reprint
Writing / lixiaofei knife
When Biden’s cabinet took office in 2021, the role of trade negotiator Dai Qi received a lot of attention.
As a Chinese American who can speak fluent Mandarin, Dai Qi did not cause much illusion on the domestic Internet at that time. Some people mistakenly believed that she was the great granddaughter of Dai Li, the leader of the KMT military unification, and others believed that she was even more dangerous than yumaochun.
Have the impressions of Dai Qi changed over the past two years?
As high inflation threatens the mid-term election, high-level officials, including President Biden, Secretary of Commerce raymondo, and finance minister Yellen, have recently repeatedly released the news that some tariff increases on China will be cancelled.
However, Dai Qi was reported to be almost playing the devil’s advocate with them on his own, insisting on retaining tariffs and even breaking out fierce disputes. According to the American media, this is “very rare” among Biden’s team committed to showing consistency to the outside world.
In addition, Dai Qi is also a very active member of Biden’s cabinet in the so-called US Taiwan Trade Agreement and the “Indian Pacific economic framework”.
Psychologically, it is called “convert fanaticism” that later converts are more devout than those born in religious families or such social phenomena.
Does Dai Qi’s performance belong to “convert Mania”?
Considering the continuous openness of internal divisions in the White House in the late trump administration, it was predicted that Biden, as a weak president, would also be difficult to integrate forces. Biden, through his own methods, at least avoided the mistakes of his predecessor in the White House – pulling a small circle of acquaintances – Antony Blinken began to deal with Biden 20 years ago. Sullivan served as his national security adviser when Biden was still vice president.
But Dai Qi is different. She is an outsider.
Dai Qi was favored and recommended by the Congress because of his strong position in the rare earth lawsuit with China in 2012 and his strong performance in safeguarding the interests of American workers in the negotiation of the US Mexico Canada trade agreement. Her nomination as a trade representative was approved by a unanimous vote in the Congress by a fierce wording of China.
A person familiar with the matter said that Dai Qi was a “marginal figure” in the White House.
When good American media spy on the inside news of the White House, they always look for a breakthrough and eye of the storm. In the trump cabinet with “weirdos” everywhere, this person is Bannon; In Biden’s cabinet, which is full of technocrats, this man is Dai Qi.
Last September, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal broke the news that the United States was considering adding new tariffs to China in accordance with the “301” clause. An insider later disclosed to the US media that at an internal White House meeting that month, Dai Qi accused Sullivan of deliberately divulging false information to the media in front of others, weakening her authority and interfering with her ongoing trade assessment with China. The fierce words shocked raymondo and others present.
Dai Qi made no secret of her differences with her superiors and colleagues on how to deal with the tariff increase on China during the trump period.
Yellen has publicly called for at least five times to reconsider the tariff issue with China; Dai Qi, on the other hand, said that China’s trade challenge to the United States was far more than today’s Russia Ukraine crisis. Raymondo disclosed that the Biden administration would study the cancellation of some tariff increases on China. Dai Qi sang the opposite tune the next day: inflation is a complex issue, and the United States must be “strategic” in deciding whether to cancel China’s tariff.
The Biden administration’s economic think tank said that lowering tariffs was Washington’s last move to curb inflation. The conclusion of the Peterson Institute of international economics is that lowering tariffs on China can reduce the inflation rate by as much as 1.3 percentage points, that is, US $797 per household. Dai Qi publicly questioned these findings, saying they were “between fictional or interesting academic research”.
Why do you want to bite China’s tariffs? Dai Qi’s reason is that if you cancel the tariff increase on China, you will lose a big bargaining chip in future negotiations with China. In fact, Dai Qi has already admitted that it is difficult for her to restart negotiations with China. As long as the tariff is not abolished, there is no need to talk about anything. “Living code” becomes “dead code”. China’s attitude is very clear. Why should Dai Qi hold on to the dead code? American scholars believe that Dai Qi is in a dilemma and is unlikely to get anything from China except for giving up retaliatory tariffs; But to give up tariffs is to give up influence unilaterally.
Dai Qi’s backer is the U.S. trade union, but people familiar with the matter said that Congress is still dominated by capital groups, and there are actually few labor representatives.
The US China trade National Committee had previously said that Dai Qi’s remarks were “disappointing”. It was hoped that Dai Qi could give full play to the advantages of Putonghua in the Sino US negotiations, but the negotiations could not be opened, and Dai Qi’s “value” was bound to decline. Biden is reported to have become impatient. He instructed Raymond to study the cancellation of some tariffs on China. According to people familiar with the matter, Raymond did Dai Qi’s job.
Balshevsky, Zoellick, and other trade negotiators have given birth to some world-renowned names. However, during the trump period, lethizer was completely reduced to a “thug”: the ability of the United States to take advantage of other countries’ losses is called “negotiation”. If there is a disagreement, other countries will be killed.
As a trade skeptic, lethizer is like a thug, and Dai Qi is like lethizer’s shadow. She suggested that bilateral trade agreements are “practices of the 20th century”, but Dai Qi has not given an answer to what is the 21st century.
Dai Qi taught English at Guangdong Sun Yat sen University from 1996 to 1998. She never talked about the experience in public. Although she is of Chinese descent, she can reassure the most conservative and Anti China members in Congress.
Dai Qi had a lot of things to do. The U.S. – British trade negotiations had not yet heard a sound, and the U.S. – India trade negotiations were even more hard bumps in the soil. However, she was not interested. She got along well with dengzhenzhong, the administrative Councilor of Taiwan’s “Executive Yuan”, and was also interested in an empty “Indian Pacific economic framework”.
However, Biden can no longer afford to delay. Some experts on American issues said that he will soon enter the sprint period of the mid-term topic selection. The American public is highly concerned about inflation. Dai Qi may be able to afford the tariff issue, but for Biden, the election is overwhelming.
As far as the tariff issue is concerned, Dai Qi’s attitude of encircling, chasing and blocking China is not in line with the interests of the Democratic Party, and it is normal for Dai Qi to be marginalized. However, experts believe that Dai Qi’s voice is still supported by political forces in the United States. Although Biden doesn’t pay special attention to Dai Qi at present, it doesn’t mean that Dai Qi’s voice has no influence. If the Democratic Party holds the Congress in the mid-term election, Dai Qi’s voice may return to the mainstream.