Traders Unite!

US trade coalition urges Biden administration to end 'misguided trade war'


Containers are unloaded from a ship at a port of Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, on Feb 17, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

WASHINGTON – Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 industry associations that are united in the fight against tariffs, on Tuesday urged the Biden administration to end the “misguided trade war” initiated by the previous administration as tariffs continue to hurt American businesses across the country.

Many American businesses are still “struggling to bear the costs of tariffs” on more than 350 billion US dollars in Chinese goods imposed by the previous administration, Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold said in a statement.

“Those tariffs failed to fulfill their stated goal of creating leverage in dealing with China, and as revealed by a Moody’s report earlier this year, importers have been forced to take on more than 90 percent of the costs created by 20 percent tariffs on Chinese goods,” Gold said.

Gold’s comments came after US media recently reported that the US government is considering launching the so-called Section 301 investigation into Chinese subsidies, which could lead to new tariffs on imports from China.

“New tariffs will not change that. Tariffs hurt businesses throughout the country and it’s time for a new approach to working with our trading partners that relieves the weight of the current tariffs and finally brings an end to this misguided trade war,” he said.

Gary Hufbauer, a former US Treasury official and non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Xinhua that he didn’t expect another round of Section 301 tariffs against Chinese imports under the current US administration as tariffs are not popular with US businesses or consumers.

More than 30 US trade groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-China Business Council (USCBC), have recently called on the US government to remove the “costly and burdensome tariffs,” which they say are hurting American companies, consumers and the overall economy.

“The Administration can take immediate steps to relieve increasing inflationary pressures and rising prices for all Americans by reducing these tariffs,” the trade groups said last month in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

During a virtual meeting with board members of the USCBC on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang urged Washington to “make earnest efforts” to improve bilateral ties, stressing the role of economic and trade cooperation as the “ballast and propeller” of China-US relations.

“If we compare China-US relations to a giant ship, then economic and trade cooperation has been its ballast and propeller. When the ship sails against heavy winds and huge waves, we need to add more strength to the ballast and propeller,” Qin told the audience.

“It is hoped that necessary conditions and atmosphere can be created for the implementation of the phase-one agreement and bilateral economic and trade exchanges, rather than making things worse,” he added.

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