Yellen backs lifting of China tariffs

Yellen backs lifting of China tariffs

The Trump administration mulls lifting the punitive duties, as it seems that the tariffs imposed on China seem to hurt consumers and businesses more than address real issues posed by the Asian giant.

President Joe Biden has been facing growing calls to get rid of the punitive duties to help fight the highest US inflation in over four decades, as American tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports are due to expire in July.

Speaking at a press conference in Germany, Yellen expressed support for such a move.

Some of the tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump seem to be imposing more harm on consumers and businesses and aren't very strategic in the sense of addressing real issues that we have with China, whether it be supply chain vulnerabilities, national security issues or other unfair trade practices, she said.

I think there will be benefits for consumers and firms because of inflation. She told reporters ahead of a G 7 finance ministers meeting in Koenigswinter, near Bonn that some relief could come from cutting some of them.

She said that we're having these discussions.

Biden said earlier this month he was talking about lifting trade tariffs on China, but that hasn't been made yet.

Supporters of the measure argue that ending the tariffs would cut US inflation by making imports cheaper.

The White House, which doesn't want to be branded weak on China, wouldn't want to be hampered by the measures.

The tariffs were first imposed in 2018 and went up to cover about $350 billion in annual imports from China in retaliation for Beijing's theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of technology.

The measures will lapse July 6 unless there is a request to continue them, at which point they would be subject to review.

US trade officials said earlier this month they are reaching out to the public to seek comment on whether or not to extend the tariffs, including sending letters to 600 firms that expressed support for the measures.

Foreign companies have complained about Beijing's failure to protect know-how and patents, including in some cases forcing firms to share information with domestic partners as the price for doing business in the Chinese market.

Prior to Trump, the US administrations had tried to resolve the issues through dialogue and gentle pressure, but the Republican president pulled out all the stops, sparking retaliation from Beijing on US goods.