A White House adviser suggested Thursday that the U.S. may reduce tariffs on various non-strategic Chinese goods such as bicycles and clothing to fight inflation.Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor Officials said the tariffs imposed by the previous Trump administration may have given the administration bargaining power, but those tariffs served no strategic purpose, and China imposed similar non-strategic retaliatory tariffs. “So this is an opportunity,” he said at a Bretton Woods Commission event. “There could be the fact that China has its own very serious supply chain concerns at this moment when inflation is rising maybe we can do something there.
“For product categories that are not implicated by those objectives, there’s not much of a case for those tariffs being in place,” he said. “Why do we have tariffs on bicycles or apparel or underwear?” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in December said lowering Trump-era tariffs on imported goods from China through a revived exclusion process could help ease some inflationary pressures, although she stressed it would be no “game-changer.”
With the cost of energy, food and other basic necessities rising, Democrats are in serious danger of losing their majority in Congress in November’s midterm elections. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has restarted an exclusion process that could lower tariffs on some Chinese goods, but has made no major moves to wholesale remove tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods. The United States could use tariffs to advance strategic priorities such as strengthening critical supply chains and maintaining U.S. preeminence in foundational technologies and to support national security, Singh said.
Singh’s comments come as Washington is urging Beijing to refrain from undermining sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine. Singh said the Biden administration believed Chinese banks and companies were largely being cautious and steering clear of helping Russia to evade Western sanctions, and underscored China’s interest in continuing to trade with the West. Xin said China’s President Xi Jinping clearly wants to achieve hegemony through economic and technological superiority, but there are areas where the two countries can work together, such as tackling climate change.
Xi said China will likely continue to rely on state-owned enterprises and powerful state actors, and will continue to receive large government subsidies.
- Singh, a White House adviser, advises lowering duties on Chinese imports
- Check all news and articles from the latest Business news updates.