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Donald Trump’s duration of Chinese tariffs is frustrating U.S. business


U.S. companies expecting a new perspective on international trade policy after four years of Donald Trump’s struggle have a question for the Biden administration: what will be the tariff on China?

The inadequate trade balance with China, the main source of imports to the US, became a solution to Donald Trump’s trade policy. He set billions of dollars in Chinese goods tariffs on clothing, footwear and food, disappointed by business groups that supported lower taxes and lighter regulations.

According to Joe Biden, most tariffs are maintained, however, and some American business groups are concerned.

“We have been in this new administration for five months and we are still not clear on what China’s trade policy is,” said Jon Gold, vice president of the National Retail Federation. “This is having a huge impact on companies, as many of them are making efforts to survive through Covid and have an additional burden on tariffs.”

While Biden has worked with allies to confront China, his overall policy with Beijing is closer to Trump’s approach than experts expected. Meanwhile, the cost of U.S. tariffs has increased for companies that buy from China. The mechanism that allowed companies to apply for exclusions in the so-called Article 301 tariffs on Chinese imports ended last year and has not yet been reinstated.

More than 3,500 U.S. companies, including Coca-Cola, Disney and Ford, as well as smaller U.S. manufacturers, filed lawsuits with the Trump administration over Chinese tariffs, setting a record number of lawsuits filed in the U.S. International Trade Court. New York. Auditions are scheduled for this year.

“Tariffs are very popular with American consumers and businesses that assume the cost,” said Doug Barry, a spokesman for the U.S.-China Business Council, the trade body. “Many rates remain in effect indicating when or when they will be removed.”

The Biden administration has so far diverted questions about tariffs, saying it is conducting a “top-down analysis”. Chinese trade policy. The White House has stated that tackling forced labor, promoting workers ’rights and caring for the environment are its top trade priorities.

Politically, the rush to remove tariffs could be dangerous ahead of the midterm elections in the 2022 congress, as signs of softening on China could weaken Democrats at the polls.

Pressure on China’s trade policy is falling on US trade representative Katherine Tai. The Biden administration’s chief trade negotiator immediately began making diplomatic calls to foreign counterparts when he entered the White House in March, but did not. talk to China until last week.

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly questioned Tai Chi tariffs, citing the damage to local industries. Senators have tried to revive the exclusion process and avoid extra tax penalties on some Chinese imports.

Trump removed some tariffs on Chinese imports from his “Phase 1”The trade deal pledged to buy more than $ 200 billion worth of goods and services from the U.S. in the two years ending in 2021. The Biden administration has so far said little about how China sees its adherence to the agreement and has not suggested it intends to start talks on “Phase 2”.

“The USTR has never publicly disclosed any details about China’s performance,” said Chinese expert Scott Kennedy, an expert at the Center for Strategy and International Studies in Washington. “It simply came to our notice then. . . We should still hear whether China deserves love. ”

In the statements, Tai said his goal is to pursue a “trade policy that focuses on workers”. The administration recently launched a crackdown on China’s fishing fleet, which allegedly used forced labor on its vessels, blocking imports of tuna and swordfish from the company.

“Within the administration, they seem to be far more advanced in the human rights and labor rights debates than in the economic and trade agenda,” said a former government official linked to U.S. employers.

“There’s a growing feeling that experienced people don’t know what to do about China – because of all the frustration with Trump, that they didn’t come to the office with another plan to increase competition and spend a lot of money. the people.

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