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Biden says he won’t immediately lift China tarriffs

This file photo taken on May 8, 2019 shows signs with the US flag (R) and Chinese flag at the Qingdao free trade port area in Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong province.


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“I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.”


— President-elect Biden

President-elect Joe Biden declared his view on the subject of 25% tariffs placed on China during the administration of President Donald Trump in comments to the New York Times in an interview that published Wednesday.

Biden has been widely expected to improve diplomatic ties with China and cool the harsh rhetoric used by Trump and his top aides. But trade experts and economists have said it was unlikely he would cancel those tariffs on $370 billion in Chinese goods early in his presidency.

Saying he doesn’t want to “prejudice his options,” Biden told the NYT he wants a full review of the U.S.-China agreement. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page,” he said.

Biden added that he wanted to “pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices — “that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” and forced technology transfers.

He said what the U.S. needs to effectively deal with China is “leverage,” something which it doesn’t yet have. Biden said no major trade agreements will be made with any nation until the U.S. has made itself more competitive via investments in such areas as energy, biotech and artificial intelligence.

“I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first,” he said.

His top priority? A generous stimulus package through Congress even before he enters the White House. Some hopeful signs on that front came Tuesday after a bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed a $900 billion package, sending the S&P 500
SPX,
+1.12%

and Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+1.28%

to fresh records.

However, the difficulty in reaching a deal remains evident after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican,, unveiled his own downsized proposal for a fiscal package, which included several provisions that were unlikely to receive Democratic support.

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