US reviewing China tariffs amid fears of recession

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US China tariffs

Washington: As the world is going through historic inflation and the United States is witnessing soaring prices, President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing the removal of some tariffs on China and a possible pause on the federal gas tax as the United States struggles to tackle soaring gasoline prices and inflation.

According to Reuters, the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, said that some of the tariffs on China “inherited from the administration of former President Donald Trump” served “no strategic purpose” and added that Biden was considering removing them as a way to bring down inflation.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also said that the president was also evaluating a pause on the federal gas tax to bring down prices, adding that such a move was “not off the table”.

Read: Power play in China’s backyard | By Khalid Naseem

The comments come as the Biden administration struggles to tackle record-high gasoline prices and inflation, now at its highest in 40 years.

In another interview with an American news channel, Janet Yellen said that the administration was reviewing its China tariff policy but did not cite specifics and declined to say when there may be a decision.

“We all recognize that China engages in a range of unfair trade practices that are important to address, but the tariffs we inherited, some serve no strategic purpose and raise the cost to consumers,” she said.

Biden has said he is considering removing some of the tariffs imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods by his predecessor in 2018 and 2019 amid a bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

RECESSION ‘NOT INEVITABLE’

Both Granholm and Yellen reiterated Biden’s stance that a recession was “not inevitable”, with the treasury secretary saying that the labour market and consumer spending remained strong. Mester also said she was not predicting a recession despite slowing growth.

Yellen, however, described inflation as being “unacceptably high” and added that she expected the economy to slow.

Whether the United States, the world’s largest economy, will slip into a recession has been a growing concern for chief executives, the Federal Reserve, and the Biden administration.

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