In August 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) started an investigation into some reported unreasonable or discriminatory trade practices implemented by China. In March 2018, the Trump Administration stated that there were indeed practices that were unreasonable or discriminatory, then imposed additional tariffs.
“Biden is leaning toward ordering the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to run a formal ‘exclusions process’ to determine if some consumer items, such as bicycles, should be exempted from the Section 301 tariffs,” Axios reported. “He is less likely to include big industrial items, like steel and aluminum, in the process.”
Tariffs cover $350 billion of goods imported from China, according to Axios.
“No decision has been made,” a White House spokesperson told Axios. “The President is discussing with his team on ensuring that tariffs are aligned with our economic and strategic priorities, such as safeguarding the interests of workers and critical industries, advancing our national security, and not unnecessarily raising costs on Americans.”
In late May, Biden told reporters, “We did not impose any of those tariffs. They were imposed by the previous administration, and they are under consideration.”
Labor unions disapprove of Biden’s desire to reduce tariffs on China; earlier this month, Thomas Conway, the International President of the United Steelworkers, filed an official comment with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, stating:
On behalf of the members of the Labor Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (LAC), we are requesting that all of the tariffs currently imposed as part of the “List 1” pursuant to the Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation be extended. …
China’s theft of intellectual property (IP), their coercive actions to force the transfer of IP, and their policies to advance innovation in order to serve the goals of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has had a corrosive, continuing, and substantial impact on domestic industry and its workforce. …
The direct theft of U.S. IP is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. But this estimate fails to take account of the lost opportunities, the closed factories, the unemployed workers, and the loss of future opportunities to compete.