The US is reviewing potential changes to its China tariffs in a shift of focus to strategic concerns with Beijing, a senior official said on Thursday.
Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said the administration was looking into some tariff relief as well as new trade investigations.
Bianchi said in an interview that the trade agency is seeking to address long-term challenges from China and “getting a tariff structure that really makes sense.”
“We’re looking at everything and what we’re focused on is making sure that we have again, a long term realignment of the relationship with China, focusing on some of the concerns … such as non-market practices and economic coercion,” Bianchi said.
Last week, the US Trade Representative’s office said it extended tariff exclusions on China-made medical products needed to address the Covid-19 pandemic for another six months, to November 30.
The exclusions from tariffs of up to 25% imposed by former president Donald Trump’s administration were granted in 2020 and were subsequently extended, but were due to expire on May 31, USTR said.
Products affected by the extension include face masks, surgical gloves, hospital gowns and other related products and devices.
Earlier, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said Joe Biden’s administration was considering whether to reduce some Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods but said Washington needed to balance short-term price reduction goals against the longer-term need to eliminate unfair competition.
“We’re actively considering what we do with regard to those tariffs,” Adeyemo told CNN. “I think the important thing for every American to know is that the president is committed to doing everything we can to bring down costs in a sustainable way.”
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell