US won’t quickly lift Trump tariffs on China

Nominee for United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai
Greg Nash

The United States will maintain former President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports in the near term, according to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“No negotiator walks away from leverage, right?” she told the The Wall Street Journal, indicating that the import taxes would likely remain in place until certain trade issues with China were settled.

Former President Trump imposed tariffs on some $370 billion of Chinese imports during the course of his presidency in an attempt to pressure the government into concessions on trade.

Some of the tariffs and proposed additional tariffs were scaled back in January 2020 when the two countries agreed to a “Phase One,” which dealt with a handful of trade issues but left many of the hardest agenda items for future negotiations.

China’s promise to buy $200 billion of U.S. agricultural goods fell flat as the COVID-19 pandemic upended the global economy.

Trade groups have pushed for the tariffs to be quickly lifted, removing a significant cost burden for manufacturers and companies that rely on materials and goods imported from China.

Tai said lifting the tariffs abruptly could be harmful to American companies.

“Yanking off tariffs,” she said, could cause a shock to companies if the plans are not “communicated in a way so that the actors in the economy can make adjustments.”

Tags China Donald Trump Katherine Tai US-China trade

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