US looking to reconfigure China tariffs in ‘coming weeks’: Yellen

US looking to reconfigure China tariffs in ‘coming weeks’: Yellen

US looking to reconfigure China tariffs in ‘coming weeks’: Yellen

US looking to reconfigure (Credits: Google)

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  • The US is considering reducing some of the harsh tariffs placed on China.
  • Yellen told lawmakers the administration would provide more information.
  • Tariffs on 100 of billion dollars in Chinese imports will expire in July.
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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the US is considering reducing some of the harsh tariffs placed on China by President Donald Trump in an effort to cool rising inflation.

Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese imports will expire in July unless renewed, and President Joe Biden has faced mounting pressure to repeal the so-called “Section 301” taxes in order to confront the greatest inflation in over four decades.

Yellen told lawmakers the administration would provide more information “in coming weeks” on the tariff plans.

Biden inherited the tariffs imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump beginning in 2018 to combat China’s trade practices but has been slow to make changes.

Read More: Russia inflation slows in May: statistics agency

Yellen said while Beijing was “guilty of unfair trade practices,” the measures “really weren’t designed to serve our strategic interests.”

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The higher costs “ended up being paid by Americans, not by the Chinese, hurt American consumers and businesses,” Yellen said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Biden administration is looking at how the punitive duties can be “reconfigured in a way that would be more strategic,” she said.

“In the coming weeks, we expect I can give you a firm timeline, but with respect to the exclusion process and tariffs. That’s something that’s under active consideration.”

US prices for food and gasoline have spiked due to supply chain blockages brought on by Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting the Federal Reserve to aggressively raise interest rates in an attempt to combat inflation.

Supporters argue that ending the tariffs on China would help ease price pressures by making imports cheaper.

Successive rounds of tariffs imposed by Trump eventually covered about $350 billion in annual imports from China in retaliation for Beijing’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of technology.

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The first round of measures will lapse July 6 unless there is a request to continue them, at which point they would be subject to review.

Biden stated in May that he was “discussing” reducing China tariffs, but it would certainly pose a political risk for the pro-labour White House, which does not want to be seen as weak on China.

USTR officials have stated that they are contacting businesses and the general public to solicit feedback on whether the tariffs should be extended.

Read More: US stocks churn on mixed labor data, OPEC meeting

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