The article, titled “Biden might be on the verge of making a blunder with China,” warned that it would be “irresponsible” and a “huge political loser” for the Biden administration to abandon Trump’s China tariffs.
“The goal of President Biden’s five-day trip to South Korea and Japan is to show that the United States is committed to the region and to standing up to China,” columnist Josh Rogin wrote.
“But some U.S. officials and business interests are calling on Biden to give Beijing a huge, unearned economic concession, claiming it will help the U.S. economy. Such a step would be a mistake politically, economically and for U.S.-China relations,” Rogin continued. “Given the dire effects of price increases on Biden’s poll numbers at home, it’s little wonder the president is looking for ways to address the inflation crisis.”
Rogin said the Biden administration is facing pressure from the officials at the Treasury Department, Wall Street, and the business community to remove the tariffs. However, national security officials worry that would give away too much leverage to China.
“The internal administration battle has now spilled out into public view, with the Treasury Department in favor of removing some tariffs, and parts of the National Security Council and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposed. Biden is expected to decide soon.”
Rogin writes that Trump’s tariffs are not a cause of inflation, pointing to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“The internal administration battle has now spilled out into public view, with the Treasury Department in favor of removing some tariffs, and parts of the National Security Council and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposed. Biden is expected to decide soon,” he wrote. “Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis supports the argument that removing some of these tariffs would have little, if any, measurable effect on inflation. The benefits to consumers are illusory.”
With Biden going to Asia to promote economic relations with countries in the region, Rogin says Biden lifting the tariffs on China now “sends exactly the wrong message to the region at exactly the wrong time.”
Rogin equates lifting tariffs on China to “surrendering on fighting China’s unfair economic practices”.
Rogin criticized Biden for potentially breaking “his previous promise not to unilaterally lift tariffs unless China’s behavior improved.”
“As China’s economy struggles under the erratic policies of its dictatorial government, Washington should be helping U.S. companies get out of China, not helping them to get in. We should do more to confront China’s economic aggression, not less,” he wrote. “The good news: There’s still time for Biden to avoid this penny-wise, pound-foolish idea.”