President Biden is leaning toward ending parts of former President Donald Trump’s suite of tariffs against China, according to reports.
Biden’s administration once called Trump’s China tariffs “very effective,” but the policy is now on the chopping block as Biden searches for anything that can help curb inflation. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo confirmed last week the administration was considering the move, and Biden is now leaning toward ending some of the tariffs, Axios reported Tuesday.
Some of the Trump-era tariffs affect household goods that could be purchased more cheaply from China.
U.S. inflation is currently at a 40-year high of 8.6% and shows no signs of slowing down. Biden released a 3-point plan to address inflation in early June, but it was criticized for lacking initiative.
The plan called for Congress and the Federal Reserve to largely handle the issue, but laid out little executive action.
Eliminating some tariffs that might alleviate inflationary pressure on Americans is one of the few executive actions available to Biden.
Inflation has become a top concern for Americans heading into the 2022 midterms, and even members of Biden’s own party have split with him on the issue.
“I support the president’s efforts, but we need a bolder vision and faster action,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif, wrote last week. “To meet the moment, Mr. Biden should convene an emergency task force empowered to lower prices and address shortages. We need an all-out mobilization, not just a few ad hoc initiatives reacting to headlines.”
The Biden administration repeatedly insisted last year that inflation would be “transitory.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted in early June that her prediction had been “wrong.”
“I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take.” she told CNN at the time. As I mentioned there have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and um, supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly, that I didn’t, at the time, understand.”