President Joe Biden said he could “immediately” decide on a modest remedy to withdraw U.S. tariffs imposed on China to curb inflation, formerly the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Crete Willems, who served, said.
“What the president expects is a relatively conservative list of potential tariff suspensions to combat inflation. Some reports are out of the current $ 360 billion or more. Willems, now a partner of the Akin Group, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” Wednesday.
Willems, head of trade negotiations at the White House during the Trump administration, said the move was “considered tough for China” such as “the possibility of a new investigation into China’s industrial subsidies.” He said he was likely to be with him.
“It is very important for the Biden administration to control things domestically so that Chinese hawks are not criticized for being weak,” Willems added. .. “
In May, Biden said He was able to drop some of the tariffs imposed For Chinese imports to curb US consumer price inflation
The White House is currently considering penalties imposed under the former president Donald Trump — Raised prices for everything from diapers to clothing and furniture. This process was triggered by legal provisions, not by US political will to reset the relationship.
Willems said the Biden administration is interested in streamlining and making the list more strategic in the long run. He added that this could include broader tariff reductions and tariff increases in areas where they consider it important to reach supply chain goals.
“I think it will be relatively modest in the short run, but in the long run I hope this will lead to a process that seeks to streamline things more broadly and connect them more closely. “.
Some economists estimate Eliminate tariffs on imported Chinese products Over time, it will reduce US inflation by 1% and regain confidence in the economy. This could help Biden stand ahead of the midterm elections later this year.
“Optics is an important part of this, and the president has been criticized for doing little about inflation, and they want to make it clear that they are reacting to it,” Willems said. Stated.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said that some tariffs on China were provided. “No strategic purpose” And Biden was considering getting rid of them as a way to cool inflation.
Benjamin Kostulzewa, Hogan Lovells’ International Trade and Regulatory Lawyer, said CNBC’s “Road Sign Wednesday Asia.”
“They are not putting pressure on the Chinese government to make the changes they wanted at a systematic level, whether intellectual property or subsidies. At the same time, they have some on the US economy. It did harm. “
White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that tariffs had not yet been decided.
“The president’s team continues to consider our options on how to move forward,” she said at a press conference. “We want to make sure we take the right approach.”
“Once we understand the right approach-this is about what is right for Americans and for Americans-there is an announcement,” she added.
The White House also faces a lot of pressure from both ends of the political spectrum on whether to raise these tariffs, said Kostulzewa, a former lawyer for the US Trade Representative.
“If they unilaterally raise these tariffs, there will be a lot of concern from the union on the left, the Chinese hawk on the right, and also the entire political spectrum on the left,” he said.
“So it’s difficult for him [Biden] When these tariffs are still widespread … to make the right economic move. And it’s not clear whether raising tariffs will have a major impact on inflationary concerns that are causing both political and economic problems for the administration. “