White House Prepares to Unwind Trump’s Trade War

Written by SK Ashby

With the lingering coronavirus pandemic complicating our economic recovery and jeopardizing business operations, it appears the White House has finally decided this would be a good time to start rolling back Trump's trade with China.

For the first time, President Biden's trade representatives, Katherine Tai, has explicitly said some tariffs on Chinese goods could be lifted in the near future.

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Top U.S. trade negotiator Katherine Tai on Monday pledged to begin unwinding some tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump on goods from China while pressing Beijing in "frank" talks in coming days over its failure to keep promises made in the Trump trade deal and end harmful industrial policies. [...]

Tai said she would pursue a virtual meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to discuss the trade deal "soon" while starting a "targeted" process to revive exclusions for certain Chinese imports from punitive U.S. tariffs, with additional exclusion processes possible in the future.

Tai also said she wouldn't rule out imposing new tariffs to punish China for not adhering to Trump's "phase one" trade deal, but I think we can say with near certainty that that's not going to happen. She's saying that because she has to say it; because the Biden administration cannot afford to appear weak even if the legacy of Trump's trade war is still hurting far more than it helps.

With inflation running rampant and consumer prices skyrocketing ahead of the holidays, there's no better time than now to end Trump's farcical trade war. A handful of exclusions from tariffs will only make a dent, but it's a start.