Inflation factors into U.S. tariffs review - Psaki

Inflation factors into U.S. tariffs review - Psaki

Inflation factors into review of tariffs on Chinese goods - White House White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a daily press briefing in Washington.

WASHINGTON Reuters - The Biden administration is studying the inflation impact of tariffs imposed on China by former President Donald Trump's administration due to a surge in consumer prices, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.

Psaki said she had no news on tariff reductions, since U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai is still reviewing Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods. She made clear that inflation was a factor in the deliberations.

This is an ongoing process and we're looking at where we see costs being raised and at a time where we're seeing heightened inflation, certainly that's on our minds, Psaki said.

She said the review was looking at larger issues, such as China's behavior in global markets, and the impact of tariffs on wages, job opportunities and America's competitive edge.

The White House comments came days after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it was worth considering taking steps to lower U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods because of the desirable effects such a move could have on lowering U.S. inflation, which has hit 40 year highs this year.

During a separate event on Thursday, Daleep Singh said that easing tariffs on non-strategic Chinese goods such as bicycles or clothing could help combat inflation.

Biden's approval ratings have fallen as the costs of energy, food and other staples have gone up, with mounting public frustration threatening to cost Democrats their slim majority in Congress in the midterm elections in November.

Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said Psaki's comments compounded expectations that the Biden administration was considering tariff reductions.

Bown said that would likely require behind-the-scenes negotiations with Beijing. Such a move would likely cause tensions with the Biden administration's push to move supply chains from China to home.