treasury secretary WeJanet Yellen confirmed Wednesday that she is advocating within the Biden administration to end some tariffs on Chinese imports that are “not very strategic” and are hurting American consumers and businesses.
Yellen told a news conference ahead of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors that internal discussions were underway over the punitive “Section 301” tariffs imposed by former US President Donald Trump. Chinese goods.
“Some of them, to me, cause more harm to consumers and businesses and are not very strategic in terms of addressing our real issues with China,” she said, referring to unfair trade practices, national security issues or vulnerabilities . of supply chain.
Citing sources familiar with the talks, Reuters exclusively reported on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden will have to resolve the heated debate among his allies over tariff cuts as his administration tries to fight high inflation.
Although Yellen has advocated removing some of the levies, sources said US Trade Representative Catherine Tai prefers to keep them to develop a more strategic Chinese trade agenda that protects US jobs and China’s behavior in global markets. . This approach may also include new strategic tariffs.
Many of the goods subject to punitive tariffs of up to 25% have little to do with the purposes of the Trump administration’s Section 301 investigation, which examines the abuse of US technology and intellectual property by China. The tariffs on consumer goods from bicycles to clothing were imposed after China retaliated against Trump’s early rounds of taxes.
Some economists inside and outside the government, as well as several business groups, have criticized China’s efforts to help control high inflation caused by the Covid-19-related lockdown, a strong economic recovery and supply chain disruptions caused by food and energy. Advocating for reduction in tariffs. Increase in prices due to Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Yellen said a tariff cut could help reduce inflation, but it likely won’t represent a “game changer.”
“So I think it would be justified not only because of inflation, but there would be benefits for consumers and businesses … by cutting some of them (tariffs). But we are having these discussions.”
But Yellen said she respected the opinions she heard in the tariff policy debate.
“There are many legitimate concerns out there,” he said. “And we haven’t really worked on it yet — we haven’t reached an agreement on tariffs.”