Stephen Roach questions Biden’s decision to keep Trump’s Chinese policy

Leading economist Stephen Roach said he found it “very strange” that US President Joe Biden had asserted much of his predecessor’s Chinese policies.

Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University, said Biden was upholding the “seriously flawed” US-China trade deal and tariffs for China, but reversed many of former President Donald Trump’s other policies.

Why has he selected the China-Trump policy as one worth pursuing, when he has literally tried to wipe the slate clean of every other potential Trump policy he has inherited? question to be answered, ”Roach told CNBC’s“ Squawk Box Asia ”on Thursday.

During Trump’s tenure, the US and China were engaged in a trade war that threatened to derail the global economy after both sides imposed retaliatory charges on each other’s products. The phase one trade deal paused the trade battle, but didn’t reverse those increased rates.

Rising tensions between the US and China

Relations between the US and China got off to a rocky start under the Biden government.

Last month, the two countries’ first high-level meeting began with an exchange of insults, and the US – along with some of its Western allies – imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and entities for human rights violations in the Xinjiang region.

Beijing retaliated against the US and its allies with its own sanctions.

Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, said he is “very concerned” about the escalating rhetoric between the US and China.

“The situation is going from bad to worse and it doesn’t have to happen,” he said. “We need, I think, a more down-to-earth approach from both the US and Chinese sides to get back to the areas we have in common.”