Biden says 'discussing' whether to drop hiked tariffs on Chinese products

by IANS |

Washington, May 11 (IANS) US President Joe Biden said his administration is discussing whether to drop the additional tariffs on Chinese imports which were imposed when his predecessor Donald Trump was in the White House, while noting that no decision has been made.

"We're discussing that right now. We're looking at what would have the most positive impact," Xinhua news agency quoted Biden as saying on Tuesday in response to a question after making remarks on inflation at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Following Biden's remarks, outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the government has already announced some tariff exclusions back in March, and it has been an "ongoing review".

"We are continuing to review where it would be advantageous to take steps that would help reduce wages, or increase wages and help certain industries that are impacted by these tariffs in a way that we don't feel is effective," Psaki told reporters.

"There will be more and he's (Biden's) continuing to weigh them," she said, adding that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai is leading that effort.

Biden's remark came as the US is experiencing the highest inflation in four decades.

The March consumer price index (CPI) surged 8.5 per cent from a year earlier, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981, according to data from the Labour Department.

The April CPI, set to be released on Wednesday, is expected to remain elevated.

"I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation," the President further said in his speech on Tuesday.

"I'm taking inflation very seriously and it's my top domestic priority."

He argued that the supply chain challenges resulting from the "once-in-a-century pandemic" and the Russia-Ukraine war are the two leading causes of the surging inflation.

Biden's remarks followed recent statements by Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who also spoke about potential easing of tariffs on Chinese goods.

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