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Biden May Ease Some China Tariffs As Soon As This Month


Axios has reported that President Joe Biden is edging closer to easing Trump era China tariffs on some products.

  • Axios: "Biden is leaning toward ordering the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to run a formal "exclusions process" to determine if some consumer items, such as bicycles, should be exempted from the Section 301 tariffs."
  • The White House has stated in the past that the administration is open to the relaxation of tariffs if they could determine positive effects on inflation but avoided providing a timeline beyond, stating that an internal review is underway.
  • A key concern for the Biden administration is the effect such a move would have on the Biden's support amongst labour groups, who have called for the retention of tariffs.
  • The President is due to deliver remarks at the AFL-CIO convention today and if the issue of tariffs is raised it could drive a wedge between Biden and the labour movement whom he has courted throughout his presidency.
  • Axios: "The overall impact of removing all of Trump's tariffs on imports from China, according to one study, might lower the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by only 0.26 percentage point."
  • The Biden administration has been opaque about tariffs in recent weeks. Trade rep Katherine Tai has cautioned against a singular focus on tariffs, instead urging a "thoughtful, strategic, deliberate" approach to the trade relationship.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has generally supported the easing of tariffs although last week she told Congress that the move would not be a "panacea" for inflation.

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