The US is considering lowering or eliminating Trump-era tariffs on certain imports from China, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN, as the Biden administration works to control inflation.
President Joe Biden has asked his team to look at the option of lifting some tariffs on hundreds of billions of Chinese goods that were put into place by former President Donald Trump in 2018 and 2019, she said. China has also argued that tariff reductions would cut costs for US consumers.
“We are looking at it,” said Raimondo in response to a question about the tariffs. “In fact, the president has asked us on his team to analyze that. And so we are in the process of doing that for him and he will have to make that decision.”
It may make sense to weigh lifting tariffs on products including household goods and bicycles, Raimondo said, adding the administration had decided to keep in place tariffs on steel and aluminum to protect US workers.
Raimondo disagreed with the characterization that Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which provided money for extended unemployment benefits and rental assistance, had contributed to the current high inflation, pointing instead to higher fuel prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Raimondo also told CNN she felt the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage could likely continue until 2024.
“There is one solution (to the semiconductor chip shortage)”, she added. “Congress needs to act and pass the Chips Bill. I don’t know why they are delaying.”
The legislation aims to ramp up US semiconductor manufacturing.
- Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath