President Joe Biden appears to be getting closer to removing some products from the Trump administration’s Chinese tariff list, Axios reported on Tuesday.
Biden, desperate to act with inflation at a 40-year high of 8.6%, was leaning toward ordering the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to initiate a formal “exclusions process” to determine whether certain consumer items, such as that bicycles, should be exempt from Section 301 tariffs, sources told Axios.
The president was less likely to include large industrial products, such as steel and aluminum.
Biden shared his thoughts a week ago during a meeting with key Cabinet officials, Axios reported.
“No decision has been made,” a White House spokesperson told Axios. “The President is talking with his team to ensure that tariffs are aligned with our economic and strategic priorities, such as safeguarding the interests of workers and critical industries, promoting our national security and not increasing costs unnecessarily. for Americans.”
Biden last week in Tokyo said he was considering the elimination of tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the Trump administration.
“I’m thinking about it; we haven’t imposed any of those tariffs — they were imposed by the last administration, and they’re under consideration,” Biden said then.
The goal of pursuing this course, even if it seemed weak vis-a-vis China, would be to show an attempt to drive prices down months before the midterm elections.
The impact of removing all Trump tariffs on imports from China, however, could reduce the consumer price index (CPI) by just 0.26 percentage points, according to a study.
While many experts say it’s the Federal Reserve’s job to fight inflation, Biden can act unilaterally to try to help consumers by attacking tariffs that cover $350 billion in goods imported from China.
Labor representatives, however, privately warned the White House against easing tariffs, the outlet reported.
The labor movement has told Biden, who is due to address the AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia today, that it expects him to keep all of Trump’s tariffs in place, a reported Axios.
Some labor officials were frustrated last week when Biden used his emergency powers to waive any potential trade sanctions for solar developers importing panels from four Southeast Asian countries.
“Our government must act in the national interest to strengthen our economy for the future,” the union leaders wrote to Biden, Axios said.
Biden economic officials have debated with other members of the administration such as U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who want to maintain influence over China.
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