US maintains Trump-era Chinese tariffs as review continues

The U.S. government has said it will continue to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 2, while continuing the statutory review of those tariffs initiated under the Trump administration.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said in a federal advisory that the department received requests from more than four hundred U.S. businesses and interested parties this spring and summer to maintain “Section 301” tariffs imposed on Chinese products in 2018 and 2019. .

The US-China trade war erupted in 2018 when former President Donald Trump took controversial steps to penalize China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) for its longstanding unfair trade practices, including to benefit from the forced labor of the Chinese people. The Trump administration has successively imposed punitive tariffs of 7.5% to 25% on more than $360 billion worth of goods imported from China.

Under the US Trade Act of 1974, tariffs expire automatically after four years, if there is no objection from domestic carriers. China’s tariffs remain in place while the USTR awaits comments in a planned formal review of them. The statutory review began in May this year and could take months.

In response to the USTR’s decision, the Chinese communist regime’s official media Global Times published an article on September 3. He said the US government had politicized the tariff issue, “treating it as ‘leverage’ against China”, which also caused inflation in the US. The article claimed that the decision indicated that the US economy was “deteriorating”.

China’s leading online news portal 163.com also published an article the same day, saying the USTR’s decision “harms others and itself at the same time”. He quoted Russian President Putin’s comment that “the United States is walking on the [former] The path of the Soviet Union, and its step is confident and steady”, to say that the United States is “creating unnecessary problems for itself until it can no longer cope” by maintaining Chinese tariffs in square.

Domestically, while some U.S. companies have benefited from the tariffs, others that depend on imports from China continue to oppose them due to their higher import prices.

The Biden administration was considering removing some of the tariffs in May, also as a way to reduce inflation. However, due to the CCP’s aggressive response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August and its ongoing military exercises around Taiwan, China’s tariff relief plan has since been filed.

Tariffs force China back to level playing field

Wang He, a columnist for The Epoch Times, said on September 3 on NTDTV’s “Global Watch” news program that the US government made the right decision in upholding the Trump administration’s tariffs on China. “Continuing the harsh Trump-era tariffs on China is Biden’s countermeasure against the Chinese regime,” he said.

US-based news commentator Lan Shu told “Global Watch” the move was one based on upholding fair trade principles. “It is mainly because since being allowed to join the World Trade Organization, China has used unequal trade means to develop its economy on the basis of jeopardizing China’s economy. other countries.

“His coercive economic expansion model has caused the demise of America’s middle class and losses for manufacturing industries and jobs.”

He said since Trump imposed the tariffs, many industries have returned to the United States. “The tariffs bring U.S.-China trade back to a level playing field.”

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Alex Wu is an American writer for The Epoch Times who focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.

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