Senators Urge Biden to Keep Trump’s China Tariffs

Senators Urge Biden to Keep Trump's China Tariffs Senators Urge Biden to Keep Trump's China Tariffs

By Nicole Wells | Friday, 27 May 2022 12:58 PM

A bipartisan group of nine senators on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to "substantially maintain" tariffs on Chinese imports that were put in place by former President Donald Trump, saying that "the tariffs are not a driver of today's inflation."

"Rolling back the tariffs on China would undermine the U.S. position in negotiations, expose many U.S. companies and workers to a sudden flood of imports, and signal to China that waiting out the United States is preferable to changing their non-market behavior or complying with the Phase One Agreement," the senators wrote, referring to a deal Trump made with Beijing.

During his recent trip to Asia, Biden said he’s mulling removing tariffs on Chinese goods, saying they “were imposed by the last administration, and they’re under consideration.”

While the White House has lifted some Trump-era tariffs on goods imported from other countries, economists have claimed that doing more would help bring down record-high inflation.

"The sooner we get rid of those tariffs on the rest of the world, the better for us because consumers, customers pay those tariffs," Farrokh Langdana, professor of finance and economics at Rutgers Business School, told The National Desk.

The bipartisan group of senators said in their letter that "the tariffs are not a driver of today’s inflation."

"Not only do the tariffs predate the current inflation by over three years, but Chinese imports make up only 2 percent of goods included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and would not materially reduce inflation," it said.

In February, an analyst told MarketWatch that the White House hopes to "get to fairly widespread tariff rollbacks sometime this year," but it didn’t want to announce those rollbacks until negotiating for changes in China’s industrial policies.

In their letter, the senators urged Biden to rethink his plan on Chinese tariffs.

"Rather than lifting the tariffs, the United States should use the enforcement tools guaranteed by that agreement to make clear that we are serious about rectifying its violations," the group said. "We need to make clear to China that dialogue leads to commitments—and failure to adhere to these commitments is followed by robust enforcement.

"If we do not exercise the legal rights under the Phase One Agreement, it will only make it more difficult to make progress with China on the subsidies, state-owned enterprises, suppression of labor rights, and other unfair behaviors that are the core of the structural obstacles to a level playing field in bilateral trade."

Six Republicans and three Democrats signed the letter, including Mike Braun, R-Ind., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Original Article