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Early Thursday morning in Asia, US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer appeared for an interview with Reuters. The diplomat reiterated his dislike for China while urging US President-elect Joe Biden to not ease China tariffs.

Key quotes

  • President-elect Biden should insist China keep implementing phase 1 trade deal, use dispute system to resolve conflicts.
  • If Biden administration eases China tariffs, will show u.s. ‘not serious’ about treating Beijing as strategic adversary.
  • China phase 1 trade deal implementation “reasonably good” in some parts, not good in others.

FX implications

Given the market’s current attention towards US coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus talks, US-China tussles get a less audience. As a result, the news is widely ignored. Although, AUD/USD fades the upside momentum below 0.7600 while eyeing the Australian employment data.