US' plan to tie tariffs to Taiwan question is 'ridiculous', will prove costly to American economy: Chinese experts say

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Chinese experts said the Biden administration’s reported plan to connect the Taiwan question and US tariffs on Chinese goods is “ridiculous”, and delaying removing the punitive tariffs will continue to hurt the US economy.

A report by Reuters said the US is rethinking its steps on trade tariffs after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s recent military drills circling the island of Taiwan, which was triggered by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to the island last week.

The Biden government previously said that it was considering cancelling some of the Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods in the hope of helping address the country’s surging inflationary pressure.

The Reuters report said those options were being set aside “for now”. In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said “after Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, it’s particularly complicated.”

Chinese experts said the US, which ignited this round of tension in the first place, is now trying to using the tension as an excuse to pressure China on economic issues.

He Weiwen, an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday that the scheme, out of Washington’s political necessity to counter China before mid-term elections, is doomed to failure.

China is willing to see the US remove all the illicit tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, He said. “The burden of the tariffs is more keenly felt by the US side.”

Hu Qimu, chief research fellow at the Sinosteel Economic Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday that the Reuters report suggested the Biden administration’s determination to walk down a path of containing China with its discriminative trade policy, in its bid to win some votes during the upcoming US mid-term elections.

On Tuesday, US President Biden signed the long debated “CHIPS Act” that seeks to revitalize the country’s semiconductor industry. The law ominously and blatantly cracks down on China’s chip industry through a series of administrative measures.

“Even faced with the highest inflation in the US, the Biden administration is hesitant to introduce measures to scrap the tariffs, which shows the scruples of the US government when it comes to China,” said Hu.

Fresh data released on Wednesday showed that the US consumer price index rose by 8.5 percent year-on-year in July, after it hit 9.1 percent in June, the highest since November of 1981.

Hu predicted that the Biden administration would continue to play the tariff card, despite its ineffectiveness, by posturing to renew them when some tranches of tariffs expire at the end of September.

In July, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said lifting all punitive tariffs imposed on Chinese goods would benefit both China and the US as well as the world as a whole.

The spokesperson said that removing all the tariffs as soon as possible would benefit American consumers and businesses, adding that an US think tank calculated that removal of those tariffs would lead to a probable one percent reduction in US inflation.

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