REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – President Joe Biden said Saturday he plans to talk to Chinese leader Xi Jinping soon as he considers whether to lift some Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods.
Biden did not say when they might speak, but suggested he was getting closer to making a decision about the fate of the economic penalties.
“I’m in the process of making up my mind,” Biden told reporters in a brief exchange after a bike ride near his beach home in Delaware.
National security and economic aides are in the process of completing a review of the U.S. tariff policy and making recommendations to the president.
The tariffs imposed under President Donald Trump applied a 25% duty on billions of dollars of Chinese products. The penalties were intended to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and force China to adopt fairer practices.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently called for eliminating some of those tariffs as a way to fight inflation in the United States. Others in the Biden administration, i ncluding U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, have raised concerns about easing tariffs when China has not upheld its agreements on purchasing U.S. products.
She said she saw the tariffs as “a tool in the economic policy toolbox” that could be considered, but alongside “a lot of other tools at our disposal.”
“What is of the utmost importance for us is to ensure that this medium-term strategic realignment that we know we need to accomplish is something that we are able to accomplish, and that nothing that we do in the short term undermines that larger goal,” Tai told The Associated Press in an interview last month.