| 2 December 2022, Friday |

No Biden move on Chinese tariffs likely before G7 meeting -sources

According to persons familiar with the situation, US President Joe Biden is considering eliminating tariffs on a variety of Chinese commodities in order to reduce inflation, but no decision is anticipated before next week’s Group of Seven conference.

White House officials met with Biden on Friday to explore alternatives for cutting some of former President Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs on China, including possibly significant decreases, according to three sources. They stated that the size of any prospective final shift has not yet been determined.

According to the individuals, Biden’s aides are pouring over Trump-era taxes on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese imports, many of which they believe lack strategic importance.

A White House spokesperson said the goal was to align the tariffs with U.S. economic and strategic priorities, safeguarding the interests of workers and critical industries, while not “unnecessarily raising costs on Americans.”

According to one of the sources, one administration proposal calls for eliminating a large portion of Trump’s punitive tariffs on Chinese consumer exports, except those on $50 billion in goods tied to an initial so-called Section 301 probe, which focused on circuit boards, semiconductors, and other “strategic” goods. Tariff adjustments on steel and aluminum were also excluded from the plan.

However, it might eliminate duties on a vast number of consumer items that were subjected to tariffs in 2018 and 2019 as Trump’s trade conflict with China worsened, totaling $320 billion at the time they were imposed. Internet routers, Bluetooth gadgets, vacuum cleaners, luggage, and vinyl flooring were among them.

  • Reuters