The White House’s key advisers want to remove tariffs on thousands of products imported from China, but the trade leaders said the Biden administration should not abandon America’s previous trade commitments, even those made under former President Donald Trump.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan wants the Biden administration to scale back penalties on thousands of Chinese products, only increase tariffs on China’s most favored industries like steel and solar panels, Politico citing several sources reported on Friday, Oct. 29.
However, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai wants to give China additional time to engage in their trade talks first, although she said three weeks earlier that President Joe Biden plans to “build on” existing tariffs on Chinese imports and confront China for failing to fulfill its obligations under a trade agreement brokered by then-President Trump.
“There’s much that remains unresolved because they’re negotiating” on new tariff action, said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who, along with other members of the Senate Finance Committee, met Tai this week.
Since Biden took office ten months ago, the Biden administration has little changed Trump’s trade policies on China, which imposed tariffs on $350 billion of Chinese goods.
China also has failed to fulfill its commitment to buy $200 billion in U.S. farm products and other goods that it signed with the Trump administration.
In early October, Tai announced that she would restart talks on the two-year trade deal that will expire at the end of the year, adding that the Biden administration does not want to “inflame” tensions with Beijing.
Politico citing the sources, said that Tai does not want the Biden administration to abandon the U.S.’s previous trade commitments, arguing that moving quickly would poison the new talks with Beijing.
The White House said that Biden’s team is now on the same page after the lengthy review of Trump’s trade policies.
A senior White House official said that the Biden administration had conducted a robust interagency review of the U.S.-China trade relationship to implement Biden’s vision of rebalancing the two countries’ trade and economic relationship.