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U.S. will keep tariffs imposed on Chinese goods for now

Last Updated on 2021/02/19

The U.S. will keep tariffs on Chinese products imposed by the previous administration, but they will be evaluated after a review, according to new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

There also remain several unresolved issues on the ground: China’s behavior on trade, forced technology transfers, and subsidies to high-tech industries.

“For the moment, we have kept the tariffs in place that were put in by the Trump administration … and we’ll evaluate going forward what we think is appropriate,” Yellen said , adding that Washington expects Beijing to adhere to its commitments on trade. Asked if the tariffs worked, Yellen hesitated, then said, “We’ll look at that as well.”

The White House last month said it would review all of the national security measures put in place by former President Donald Trump, including the interim trade deal with Beijing that had eased tensions between the two countries after a long and damaging trade war that U.S. experts estimate led to a maximum loss of 245,000 U.S. jobs. Most of the tariffs remain in place on both sides.

Under the January 2020 tentative agreement, China had pledged to buy $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services over two years, but Beijing fell far short of its goal for the past year, a recent study showed.

U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to mend fences with U.S. allies but has taken a hard line against China, warning this week that Beijing will pay a price for its human rights violations.

There are also areas where the two countries need to cooperate, she said, such as working to end the pandemic and fighting climate change.


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