Biden says he hasn’t decided on Chinese tariffs, looking at them ‘one at a time’

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US President Joe Biden speaks before awarding Medals of Honor to US Army veterans who fought in the Vietnam War, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, USA United, July 5, 2022. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden said on Friday he had not yet made a decision on whether to cut some U.S. tariffs on imports from China, saying his administration was reviewing them ” one by one”.

Biden was due to discuss the tariffs with his advisers on Friday, but it was unclear when he would make a decision on whether to cut some of them to try to fight inflation, people familiar with the deliberations said.

“I didn’t make that decision,” Biden told reporters when asked about his plans for tariffs after signing an executive order to protect access to abortions. “We’re looking at them one by one,” he said of the rates.

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Biden has struggled in recent weeks to balance competing desires to use every possible lever to dampen inflation and to keep the pressure on China in an attempt to secure concessions on state-directed economic policies from China. Beijing.

Discussions focus on “Section 301” tariffs imposed in 2018 and 2019 by then-President Donald Trump on thousands of products valued at $370 billion at the time due to the alleged theft of the American intellectual property by China.

Some members of the administration, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have argued that many of these functions are “non-strategic” and increase costs for American consumers and businesses. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said tariffs are “an important lever” in U.S.-China trade relations.

Other sources familiar with the process said Biden was taking his time to work through the complex web of options and consequences, which includes removing a substantial amount of tariff goods and removing them from a more limited list of tariff goods. consumption made in China.

The White House is also considering an expanded process to approve specific product exclusions from tariffs and whether to tie any action to a new Section 301 investigation into Chinese state subsidies and industry domination plans. high-tech, the sources said.

The White House had no immediate comment on the tariff talks.

More than 400 demands from industry and labor groups have called for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to keep China’s tariffs in place, indicating Biden could face backlash if he chooses a substantial tariff cut. Read more

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Reporting by David Lawder; edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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