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March 23, 2021

The Future of U.S.-China Trade Negotiations

Event Series: Asia-Pacific Dialogue Series

Shipping containers

By the time the Trump administration left office on January 20, 2021, the United States and China had imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of exports from the other country and imposed new restrictions on investments, technology, and personnel. Although the existing bilateral agreement from January 2020 halted a further deterioration of part of the trade relationship, as the Biden administration fills out its economic team the new administration faces a daunting array of China policies to review from tariffs to sanctions, blacklists to delisting. How will the Biden administration prioritize trade policy with China, and how will the March National People’s Congress affect Beijing’s willingness to engage with Washington on economic goals? Initiative Senior Fellow James Green will consider these important questions in a conversation with Charles Freeman, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs.


Charles Freeman is the senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has been helping companies navigate complex markets in the region for 25 years. His career included senior stints in government, business, law, and academia. During his government career, Freeman was assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs, serving as principal U.S. trade negotiator with China. He also was legislative counsel in the U.S. Senate, where he concentrated on East Asian economic and trade issues. Freeman earned his doctor of law degree from Boston University’s School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in Asian studies and economics from Tufts University. He did postgraduate work at Fudan University in Shanghai and studied Mandarin Chinese at the Taipei Language Institute.

James Green is a senior research fellow with the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University and the host/creator of the U.S.-China Dialogue Podcast. He has worked for over two decades on U.S.-China relations for the U.S. government and in the private sector. Green received his honors B.A. from Brown University and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where his master’s degree work concentrated on China studies and international economics.