WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Donald Trump does not plan to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods before his successor Joe Biden takes office next month, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Monday (Dec 7).
“On the trade talks, we remain engaged,” Kudlow said at an event hosted by The Washington Post. “We’re not planning on any new tariffs.”
Trump launched an aggressive trade war against Beijing that involved tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in products, many of which remain in place despite a “phase one” agreement signed early this year.
Kudlow said China is living up to the initial agreement that included specific targets for purchases of agricultural products like soybeans.
“Data show this, that China is abiding by a good chunk of the phase one trade deal,” he said, adding, “They may be behind because of the pandemic situation.”
In addition, “there seems to be some positive movement with respect to setting up new laws and new legal bodies, judiciary bodies, to stop the extraordinary theft of our intellectual property which was, as you know, a key part of our concerns.”
Biden last week said he would not move immediately to remove any of the tariffs Trump imposed during his four years in office, saying he would focus first on investing in American workers and manufacturing.
Once he takes office on January 20, Biden is expected to repair diplomatic relations with trading partners and allies like the European Union, which could be a solid ally in pressuring Beijing to change its behaviour.
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