US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Sunday that the US might look into lifting or easing some tariffs on China imports to help fight inflation. About US$300 billion worth of trade restrictions is still in place from when Trump was in office. Speaking to CNN, Raimondo said that Biden had asked his team to look into it. She specified that while the team was looking into easing the trade restrictions on household goods, tariffs on items like steel and aluminum will stay in place to protect the nation’s industries.
Some people have also argued that Biden’s US$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which helped Americans after COVID with things like rent and unemployment, was contributing to the record-high inflation rates. But Raimondo said it was because of the Russia-Ukraine war which sent oil prices soaring.
“We are looking at it. In fact, the president has asked us on his team to analyze that. And so we are in the process of doing that for him and he will have to make that decision,” said Raimondo. “There are other products – household goods, bicycles, etc – and it may make sense” to weigh lifting tariffs on those, she said, adding the administration had decided to keep some of the tariffs on steel and aluminum to protect US workers and the steel industry.
When talking about the semiconductor chip shortage, she said: “There is one solution (to the semiconductor chip shortage). Congress needs to act and pass the Chips Bill. I don’t know why they are delaying.”