Lifting China Tariffs to Tame Inflation Is ‘Silly’ Transfer, Trump’s Commerce Chief Lighthizer Says

WASHINGTON—Former U.S. Commerce Consultant Robert Lighthizer opposes a doable White Home plan to repeal some Trump administration tariffs on Chinese language items, arguing that it could haven’t any impact on inflation.

Biden administration officers are nonetheless considering whether or not to take away among the tariffs on greater than $300 billion of Chinese language items put in place beneath President Donald Trump. Some consider that lowering tariffs might assist in curbing 40-year excessive inflation.

In an interview with The Epoch Occasions on July 26, Lighthizer, the architect of Trump’s China commerce insurance policies, described the inflation argument as “full nonsense” and “silly.”

“We have now inflation due to an excessive amount of authorities spending; very, very dangerous vitality coverage; and dangerous regulatory coverage,” he mentioned.

Lighthizer urged the U.S. authorities to keep up the tariffs on Chinese language items till it addresses Beijing’s dangerous commerce practices and to impose extra levies as an alternative of eradicating them.

“We must always have extra tariffs. We ought to be having much less commerce with China,” he mentioned.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been a powerful advocate of lowering tariffs on Chinese language items, arguing that they impose extra hardship on customers and companies with out resolving any China-related points.

President Joe Biden is predicted to talk with Chinese language chief Xi Jinping on July 28 and tariffs could also be introduced up through the name. Nonetheless, there’s growing disagreement among the many Biden administration officers as as to if lowering tariffs is a smart transfer.

In keeping with Lighthizer, after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on sure Chinese language items in 2018, that they had no impact on inflation.

“Certainly, the buyer worth index went from 2.0 to 1.8 %. So, they really went within the different path,” he mentioned.

Lighthizer additionally identified that tariffs haven’t focused key merchandise reminiscent of gasoline or meals. In keeping with him, solely 2 % of the products listed within the shopper worth index are imported from China.

“So there’s simply actually no argument for it in any respect. It’s full nonsense. And even the administration admits now that will have little or no impact [on inflation]. That’s not even a debate anymore,” he mentioned. “I believe there have been those that wished to assist China for their very own causes, in order that they have been utilizing it as an excuse. And it was so silly and so bogus, that argument simply blew up.”

Trump enacted the tariffs, as a part of his administration’s efforts to fight the Chinese language regime’s unfair commerce practices which have value the U.S. economic system billions of {dollars}.

White Home Nationwide Financial Council Director Brian Deese informed reporters on July 26 that the president would “make a dedication” on eradicating tariffs when requested what impact it could have on the U.S. economic system.

“There are a variety of various analyses of that query,” Deese mentioned. “You’ll be able to relaxation assured that we’re wanting into and looking out beneath and round all of them, and we’ll come again to that problem when the President has extra to say.”

The Trump administration imposed as much as 25 % tariffs on lots of of billions of {dollars} value of Chinese language imports in 2018 after an investigation concluded that Beijing has engaged in extreme authorities subsidies, mental property theft, and different unfair commerce practices. The Chinese language regime responded by imposing levies on U.S. imports value tens of billions of {dollars}.

Dorothy Li contributed to this report.

Emel Akan


Emel Akan writes about enterprise and economics. Beforehand she labored within the monetary sector as an funding banker at JPMorgan. She graduated with a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration from Georgetown College.

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