President Biden may rescind some Trump administration tariffs on Chinese products, a move that would hurt U.S. workers and businesses, increase our already crippling trade deficit with China, and squander Washington’s negotiation leverage with Beijing over intellectual-property theft, threatening American security interests.
The administration’s purported justification—that removing these tariffs could slow inflation—is nonsense. Established pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the tariffs on Mr. Biden’s chopping block had almost no price impact across the economy when they were implemented. Consumer prices decelerated slightly after their implementation. To the degree the cost of the tariffs was passed on to American consumers, rather than paid by Chinese producers through price reduction or currency depreciation, it would have created a one-time price increase and couldn’t be responsible for today’s inflation.