Trade

Biden Admin Quickly Moves Forward With Ending Trade War

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Biden administration's Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai just announced on Monday of this week that the White House is going to gradually unwind Trump's trade war with China by exempting certain goods from Trump's tariffs, but that is evidently going to happen sooner than expected.

Just one day after Tai's announcement, the USTR published a listed of nearly 550 imports from China that will be exempted after a period of public comment.

WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Tuesday it is seeking public comments on plans to revive a targeted tariff exclusion process for imports from China, specifically whether to reinstate previously extended exclusions on 549 import product categories.

USTR said it would accept public comments from Oct. 12 through Dec. 1 on possible exclusions for a list of products that includes industrial components, thermostats, medical supplies, bicycles and textiles.

I wrongly assumed that we would not see significant action taken to unwind the trade war until after the new year, but the White House apparently believes the matter is more urgent than I expected.

With American companies facing shortages of labor and basic goods, it probably should not come as any surprise that common industrial components and textiles made the initial list of goods that will be exempted from Trump's tariffs.

The Trump regime slapped tariffs on Chinese goods ranging from water hoses to kiddie pools because the availability of cheap imports supposedly harmed our national security by weakening American industries, but has anyone seen the kiddie pool industry take off in the last three years?

I'm using the most ridiculous example, of course, but you get the point. Trump's trade war was suppose to secure or altar the structure of our economy, but it never did and never will. Our trade deficit hit an all-time record high last month even with all of Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods still on the books.

The U.S. trade deficit raced to a record high in August, boosted by imports as businesses rebuild inventories, the latest sign that economic growth slowed in the third quarter.

The trade deficit surged 4.2% to $73.3 billion last month, the highest since the government started tracking the series, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $70.5 billion.

When adjusted for inflation, the goods trade deficit increased $1.9 billion to $101.8 billion in August. The report followed on the heels of government data last Friday showing high inflation sharply cutting into consumer spending in July, with a moderate rebound in August.

Rising inflation, shortages, and a drop in consumer spending are all very good reasons to end the trade war. This is an easy sell.