Following the announcement by Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative (USTR) of the Biden administration, on the elimination of Section 301 tariffs on more than 350 Chinese-made products imported into the United States, Senator Tom Cotton sent a letter to the USTR requesting that they explain their decision.
Cotton, in his letter, considers the tariffs removal on China to be “economic appeasement” and demands that the administration justify its decision, according to Breitbart.
“Earlier last month, USTR also punted on opening new 301 investigations into China’s economic abuses. These trade concessions are a gift to Chinese producers that continue your agency’s pattern of economic appeasement.”
Cotton mentions in his brief that it is possible that those Chinese-made products exempt from U.S. tariffs could easily be manufactured in the U.S. or in another foreign country that is an ally of the U.S. government.
He also asks for the estimated value of China’s gains as a result of the tariff exemptions. And he explains his concern about the likely growth of the U.S. trade deficit.
He even questions what tariff advantages and trade concessions the U.S. is getting from China for these exemptions.
Cotton, last December, in the midst of the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), expressed the disadvantages for the country of these rulings.
“Millions of Americans lost good-paying, blue-collar jobs to the ‘China trade shock,'” Cotton said.
Between 2001 and 2018, U.S. free trade with China eliminated 3.7 million American jobs from the economy, and closed at least 50,000 U.S. manufacturing plants.
Moreover, the Trump administration, through Section 301 of the Trade Act, imposed tariffs on approximately $370 billion worth of Chinese goods.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that the Biden administration supports the exclusion process as a part of its broader approach to China, according to Inside U.S. Trade.
In November 2021, Tai said it would reinstate some tariff exclusions from duties on Chinese-made goods implemented by the Trump administration, but they would expire again after Dec. 31, 2022, according to CNN.
So far, China failed to meet the purchase targets it had promised in the Phase One agreement signed by then-President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, falling short of its commitment in the negotiation by more than $213 billion.