According to the Finance Minister, some tariffs inherited from the Trump administration “do not serve any strategic purpose.”
The Biden administration is considering the cancellation of some tariffs for China, as well as a possible suspension of payment of the federal gas tax, as the United States tries to cope with rising gasoline prices and inflation. This was announced on Sunday by two senior administration officials.
Finance Minister Janet Yellen said that some tariffs on China inherited from the administration of Donald Trump “do not serve any strategic purpose.”
She added that Biden is considering canceling them as a way to reduce inflation.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the president is also considering suspending the federal gas tax to lower prices. Speaking on CNN, the minister said that such a step “is not excluded.”
The comments come at a time when the Biden administration is struggling to cope with record high gasoline prices and inflation, which is now at its highest level in 40 years.
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said it would take two years for inflation to fall to the central bank’s 2% target.
Speaking on the ABC News program, Yellen said that the administration is reviewing its tariff policy on relations with China, but did not go into details and did not specify when a decision might be made.
“We all recognize that China resorts to a number of unfair trade practices that are important to combat, but some tariffs that we inherited do not serve any strategic purpose and increase costs for consumers,” she said.
President Biden has said he is considering lifting some of the tariffs imposed by his predecessor on Chinese goods, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, amid a fierce trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Both Granholm and Yellen confirmed Biden’s position that a recession “is not inevitable.” The Finance Minister said that the labor market and consumer spending remain high.
At the same time, she called inflation “unacceptably high” and added that she expects economic growth to slow down.