Labor unions pressure Biden to extend Trump-era China tariffs: report

·2 min read

Leading unions in the U.S. are pressing for the Biden administration to extend former President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods.

Leaders from the unions filed an official comment to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday asking that all Section 301 tariffs relating to China be extended, according to an Axios report.

“Our government must act in the national interest to strengthen our economy for the future,” said the letter, signed by Thomas Conway, who chairs the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy.

The push to retain the tariffs comes as President Biden considers the possibility of waiving Section 301 tariffs, which affect roughly $300 billion worth of goods from China.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN on Sunday that Biden has asked her and other administration officials to analyze the removal of some tariffs, a move some Democrats think would lower costs for consumers.

Raimondo added that the administration has decided to keep some of the tariffs, including those imposed on steel, as a matter of national security and to protect American workers. But she said the administration may remove tariffs on other Chinese imports, including household goods and bicycles, to ease inflation.

“It may make sense, and I know the president is looking at that,” she said.

In hopes of cooling record-setting inflation, retailers have pressed Biden to lift the tariffs amid the significant uptick in prices.

“Consumers and businesses continue to feel the pain of higher prices across the board from everyday goods and services to rent and groceries and gas,” National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay wrote in a letter to Biden last month.

That letter also noted that American importers have paid $136.5 billion on tariffs stemming from the U.S.-China trade war.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also said that the Section 301 tariffs “impose more harm on consumers and businesses” and “aren’t very strategic in the sense of addressing real issues” with China.

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