Biden administration to reinstate some tariff exclusions on Chinese imports
The Biden administration will allow certain products imported from China to once again circumvent tariffs imposed by President Donald J. Trump, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced Wednesday.
The commerce bureau said it would reinstate some tariff exclusions that expired at the end of 2020, allowing some businesses to avoid taxes on Chinese goods that could not be obtained elsewhere.
Mr Trump has hit China with tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods amid a trade war between Washington and Beijing. Amid a trade outcry, the Trump administration allowed some products to avoid tariffs. But Mr. Trump has refused to extend those exclusions until the end of his term, a move that has angered many business leaders.
The decision announced Wednesday reinstates 352 of the 549 eligible exemptions, keeping them in place until the end of 2022.
The Biden administration has come under pressure from lawmakers and the business community to restart the exclusion process, saying the tariffs hurt American businesses and consumers and put the United States at a competitive disadvantage. Top business leaders expressed frustration with President Biden’s China trade policy and urged his administration to drop Chinese tariffs and provide more clarity on economic engagement between the world’s largest economies.
Thousands of businesses applied for waivers after Mr. Trump’s tariffs, which ranged from 7.5% to 25%. The Trump administration granted a limited number of exclusions, allowing companies that imported electric motor microscopes, forklifts and the like to avoid the levies.
The expiration of the waivers in 2020 meant companies had to start paying tax again to import a variety of goods from China.