- Biden opened the door to reversing some of Trump’s tariffs on China.
- But he said no decision has been made.
- The Biden administration is trying to find new ways to cool rising prices amid persistent inflation.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday left the door open to reversing his predecessor’s tariffs on China, signaling the White House is eyeing new ways to cool rising prices with inflation still stubbornly high.
“We’re discussing that right now,” Biden said after a speech on Tuesday. “We’re looking at what would have the most positive impact.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for additional details.
Biden made a fresh pitch for other elements of his stalled agenda, including tax increases on the wealthy and large firms and reining in the cost of prescription drugs.
Biden’s remarks are a sign he’s weighing whether to dismantle at least some of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China, which have largely been left in place for the last three years. Those tariffs make it more expensive for US businesses to import Chinese goods.
Under Trump, the US imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese products. That prompted China to slap tariffs onto some US agricultural products. Both sides ramped up the trade war until an initial trade deal in early 2020 helped relieve tensions with the US and China agreeing not to step up tariffs.
The US has accused China of falling short on its commitment to buy more US goods under the agreement. Meanwhile, the US is briefly lifting another set of tariffs on Ukrainian steel to help strengthen Ukraine’s devastated economy as the country fends off a Russian invasion.
Some experts say that rolling back the tariffs would help bring down inflation, which has hit its highest level in decades.
“That would bring down inflation directly, would increase competition and the economy and indirectly, and bring down prices even more,” Jason Furman, a former top Obama administration economist, told MSNBC. “This would be the biggest step he could take that he’s not taken so far.”
Persistent worker shortages, supply-chain bottlenecks and the disruption to energy supplies stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have contributed to inflation.