President Joe Biden said on Monday that he is weighing the elimination of tariffs on Chinese goods that were imposed by the Trump administration, the Business Insider reported.
"I am considering it; we did not impose any of those tariffs — they were imposed by the last administration, and they're under consideration,” Biden said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.
The Trump administration started placing tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018 due to Beijing’s unfair trade practices, with two-thirds of Chinese imports to the U.S. subject to 25% tariffs, the Washington Post reported.
Biden said that when he returns to the U.S. he would be discussing the issue with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who has backed lifting some tariffs due to high U.S. inflation, according to the Business Insider.
Earlier this month Yellen said that "some of the tariffs that were imposed by President Trump in retaliation for China's unfair trade practices … seem as though they impose more harm on consumers and businesses."
Yellen added that the current tariffs "aren't very strategic in the sense of addressing real issues we have with China — whether it concerns supply chain vulnerabilities, national security issues, or other unfair trade practices."
Biden has come under pressure from some economists and lawmakers. as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to reduce or eliminate the tariffs, according to Market Watch.
In addition, National Retail Federation (NRF) President Matthew Shay wrote a letter to Biden last week insisting that “consumers and businesses continue to feel the pain of higher prices across the board from everyday goods and services to rent and groceries and gas. Removing the harmful China 301 tariff will alleviate some of the inflationary pressure on the U.S. economy,” The Hill reported.
The NRF noted that American importers have paid $136.5 billion on tariffs resulting from the U.S.-China trade war and stressed that these costs are largely passed onto American consumers.
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