President Joe Biden is considering if he should keep former President Donald Trump's tariffs on China in place, with a decision expected by the end of the year.
Breitbart reported Wednesday that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is currently reviewing billions in trade tariffs imposed on Chinese-made goods during the Trump administration, as part of a regular four-year review required under trade laws.
According to the report, Biden is likely to decide on keeping the tariffs, initially imposed during the Trump administration in 2018-19 to counter the loss of some 4 million jobs due to prior free trade policies.
"We are conducting the review from an analytical perspective. We're not base-casing any breakthrough in the trade relationship with China as part of the review," Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi told Reuters Tuesday. "We're not assuming that that will happen."
The Economic Policy Institute, "a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions," reported in January 2022 that the Trump tariffs, which included 25% on more than half of all U.S. imports from China, served as a "strategic tool" with other efforts to revive American competitiveness in the global economy.
According to that report, rolling back the tariffs would send efforts to reinvigorate American manufacturing in the supply chain "back to square one."
The report said that those seeking the end of the tariffs as a partial solution to rising inflation would not work because they are not large enough, or have the timing, to have anything to do with the inflationary increase during Biden's term in office.
"Given how damaging fragile global supply chains have proven to be — and how important it is to [bring] production back to the United States — claims that tariff rollbacks are an answer to inflation are dangerous," the report said.
Figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show an increase of almost $50 billion in tariff and customs duties collected in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2016, before Trump took office.
That increase represents just 0.3% of total U.S. personal consumer spending during that time, the figures show.
According to the EPI report, rolling back the tariffs would amount to about a 0.3% reduction in the inflation rate.
Breitbart reported that the United Steelworkers union asked Biden to leave the tariffs in place last year.
"Too many U.S. companies have failed to take needed actions to address the threat posed by Chinese Communist Party policies," USW executives wrote. "Many continue to outsource production, and research and development, undermining U.S. competitiveness and national security interests … our government must act in the national interest to strengthen our economy for the future."
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