Biden Trade Rep Won’t Dump Trump China Tariffs in Near Future

Katherine Tai
BILL O'LEARY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says the U.S. is not ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In an exclusive interview with the Journal, Tai said that although she has been pressured by free traders and some U.S. business interests to remove the tariffs, that will not happen soon.

Tai said that “yanking off tariffs” without giving businesses time to plan their investments and strategies would risk doing harm to the U.S. economy.

“Whether they are companies, traders, manufacturers or their workers,” Tai said, “the ability to plan” for changes that affect their future is essential.”

She also said that the tariffs give the U.S. leverage for future negotiations with China.

“No negotiator walks away from leverage, right?” she said.

The interview also reveals that Tai has contacted 14 trade officials from around the world—but not her counterpart in Beijing.

The interview shows just how much Donald Trump’s presidency transformed the public conversation around tariffs and trade with China. When Trump first imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, the policy was met with howls of outrage and predictions that they would harm the U.S. consumer. Now the Biden administration’s top trade official is saying the tariffs will remain in place and it is not even front-page news.




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