The military maneuvers China around Taiwan have brought government representatives from USA to recalibrate its stance on whether to remove some tariffs or potentially impose others on Beijing, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.
President Joe Biden has not made a decision on the matter, according to the sources. His team has been looking for months at various ways to ease the costs of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports during the tenure of his predecessor, Donald Trump, as he tries to curb inflation.
A combination of removing some tariffs, launching a new analysis of the “Section 301″ on potential areas for new tariffs, and expand a list of tariff exclusions to help US companies that can only source certain supplies from China.
Tariffs make Chinese imports more expensive for US companies, which, in turn, makes products more expensive for consumers.
Reducing inflation is one of Biden’s main goals ahead of November’s midterm elections, which could shift control of one or both houses of Congress from Democrats to Republicans.
However, Beijing’s response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week prompted a new calculation by the government, which seeks to do nothing that could be seen by China as a climbing.
Chinese soldiers have been engaged for days in ballistic missile launches and simulated attacks on the island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
“I think Taiwan has changed everything”said a source familiar with the latest developments in the process.
A high-ranking administration official clarified that Biden had not made a decision.
“The president hadn’t made a decision before the events in the Taiwan Strait and he still hasn’t made a decision, period. All options are still on the table.”indicated the source.
The tariffs were imposed in 2018 and 2019 by Trump on Chinese imports valued at the time at $370 billion to pressure the Asian giant for its alleged theft of American intellectual property.
Some officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, had argued that the tariffs were imposed on consumer goods. “non-strategic” that had unnecessarily increased costs for consumers and businesses, and their removal could help ease inflation.