US President Joe Biden said his administration is currently evaluating the tariff imposed on China by his predecessor Donald Trump and may reverse some of it to help control rising consumer prices in the country, reports said.
“We're discussing that right now. We're looking at what would have the most positive impact," CNN quoted Biden as saying about the plans to drop the tariffs on China.
However, on being pressed further, Biden said that “no decision has been made on it" yet.
Some business groups and experts have suggested the White House get rid of the tariffs to combat inflation as the country braces for another inflation report above 8 percent.
The Trump administration had imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese products, ranging from diapers to clothing and furniture, in an effort to bolster American-made goods. In response, China also slapped tariffs on some US agricultural products. Both the countries ramped up the trade war till an initial agreement was signed in early 2020 which helped relieve tensions among the two powerhouses with both agreeing not to step up tariffs further.
According to economists, removing the tariffs altogether is one of the options that the White House has to do to cool inflation in the US, CNBC reported.
Biden said a number of reasons, including the “once-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, led to prices rising at their fastest pace in the US since 1980s.
The pandemic had shut down the global economy and also “threw supply chains and demand completely out of whack”, Biden said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has led to the dramatic rise in oil prices and prices of contracts for key food products such as wheat and corn. Ukraine and Russia together account for more than a quarter of the world’s wheat supplies.
Inflation in the US over the past year climbed at its fastest pace in over 40 years to 8.5 percent in March from 12 months earlier. This is the sharpest year-over-year increase since 1981.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)