The Biden administration may remove tariffs on some Chinese goods, reversing a policy of former President Donald Trump.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo first indicated the idea was under consideration, according to RealClearPolitics.
“We are looking at it,” she said in an interview with CNN. “In fact, the president has asked us on his team to analyze that. And so we’re in the process of doing that for him, and he will have to make that decision.”
She indicated tariffs on steel and aluminum would likely remain, adding, “There are other products, household goods, bicycles, et cetera, and it may make sense. And I know the president is looking at that.”
In its reporting on the potential shift in policy, Axios reported that Biden is currently leaning in the direction of scrapping some tariffs, based on sources it did not name.
Axios summed up the issue this way: “With inflation at a 40-year high of 8.6%, Biden and his top officials are desperate to show action on bringing down prices, even if it makes them appear weak on China.”
Axios said the shift would begin with Biden ordering the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to run through the list of products for which a tariff is levied to see which can be excluded, with action potentially coming this month.
But the concept is already running into headwinds from members of Biden’s own party.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is running for Senate, has already sent Biden a letter warning against the change, according to Fox News,
Slashing tariffs would “embolden” an “already aggressive Chinese Communist Party to further undermine U.S. interests,” he wrote, said Biden would be “naive” to disregard China’s “recent malign activity,”
“We should not reward this behavior by ending these tariffs imposed on them nor should we signal to the world that cheating our trade laws will be tolerated,” he wrote, adding that “We cannot continue to enable China’s practices that cripple our workforce by allowing Chinese made products to flood our markets. Instead, we need to prioritize American workers and American manufacturing companies.”
Labor leaders have also come out against lifting any tariffs.
“Our government must act in the national interest to strengthen our economy for the future,” Thomas Conway, president of the United Steel Workers, in a comment filed on behalf of the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy, according to Axios.
Axios noted that one internal study showed cutting tariffs would trim the Consumer Price Index by .26 of a percentage point.
And there is also the political baggage from Hunter Biden’s dealing with China. As noted by The Washington Post, China paid Hunter Biden almost $5 million as part of a massive energy deal that ultimately collapsed. Reports have also emerged of Hunter Biden knowingly working with people who were top Communist Party officials in China.
“And you’ve got Joe Biden again, making policy [that] could benefit China dramatically at the same time that it looks very obvious that his son, his family have taken millions of dollars from China in the process,” Hagerty said.
“[I]t’s another misguided policy. If you think about what the Chinese Communist Party has seen with [President] Joe Biden, it’s been a gift from day one: re-entering the Paris Climate Accord; China laughs all the way to the bank on that. If you look at our energy policies here in America, just broadly speaking, it’s a huge benefit to China. Now they’re talking about lifting the only leverage that we’ve got in place right now to bring China to more normalized trade relations with us?” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.