UPDATED 1:10 PM PT – Monday, July 25, 2022
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo confirmed that the Biden administration is considering lifting tariffs on China. In an interview Sunday, Raimondo said officials are looking at potential labor implications of lifting Trump-era tariffs on China. She added that tariffs could be lifted if it helps bring down inflation and alleviate supply chain problems.
The Secretary also praised Biden’s so-called green agenda despite concerns it may further cripple US manufacturing. Despite an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics that lifting tariffs on some Chinese-made products would save households hundreds of dollars, Biden is concerned about the support of unions in making this decision.
“There are potential labor implications,” Raimondo stated. “One thing about this president is he will never do anything that he thinks will hurt workers in America or union workers in America.”
Labor unions are actively campaigning against dropping tariffs on China with multiple groups filing an official comment to the Office of the US Trade Representative earlier this month to advocate for the tariffs to stay in place. Trump imposed numerous tariffs on China during his time in office. The former president believed that trading practices with the country were unfair to the US. The Biden administration has kept many of the tariffs in place despite indicating some of the policies need to be changed.
“The labor market is now extremely strong,” she said. “This is not an economy that’s in recession, but we’re in a period of transition in which growth is slowing. And that’s necessary and appropriate, and we need to be growing at a steady and sustainable pace.”
The Commerce Secretary herself advocated for dropping some of the tariffs, but there is no clear timeline on when the president will make a decision on the issue. Biden’s thinking could also be impacted by the midterm elections where union support is a big help to Democrats in a year where Republicans are expected to pick up multiple seats.
The President is still weighing whether or not to lift tariffs off of China. The action potentially could have an impact on US inflation. @POTUS has said he plans to talk to China's Xi within days. https://t.co/mQq2r8jBU4
— Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) July 24, 2022
Raimondo voiced that the Biden administration may restrict the exports of US technology to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.