Biden says ‘not there yet’ on lifting Chinese tariffs

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France Media Agency

January 20, 2022 | 11:30 a.m.

WASHINGTON, United States — US President Joe Biden has said his administration is working to remove tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by his predecessor, but Beijing will need to do more to meet its trade commitments.

“We’re not there yet,” Biden told reporters when asked about the prospect of ending tariffs.

At a press conference ahead of the first anniversary of his inauguration, Biden said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was working on the issue with China, but the timing was “uncertain.”

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth $370 billion in 2018, citing “unfair” trade practices.

But many US businesses have criticized the levies, saying they drive up costs as importers bear the brunt – a growing concern as shortages of key products have caused US inflation to spike.

The two countries signed a so-called “phase one” trade deal in January 2020, in which Beijing pledged to increase its purchases of American goods and services by at least $200 billion over 2020 and 2021.

But amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Beijing has fallen short of those goals.

“I’d like to be in a position where I can say they’re delivering on commitments, more of their commitments and being able to lift some of it,” Biden said.

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