To combat rising inflation, America is considering lifting billions of dollars in tariffs that the Donald Trump administration imposed on Chinese products 4 years ago.

Average U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports remain elevated at 19.3%. These tariffs are more than six times higher than before the trade war began in 2018. These tariffs cover 66.4% of U.S. imports from China or roughly $350 billion of trade (measured in terms of 2018 import levels).

The tariff will expire in July but can be extended upon enough industry groups’ requests. The process will include seeking public opinion for comment on whether to extend the tariffs, including sending letters to 600 companies expressing support for the measure.

A senior official at the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said on Tuesday, May 3, “Under the law, the tariffs will expire on the four-year anniversary unless we go through this process and get a request for continued action.”

Under the policy, businesses will have until July 6 to notify the USTR that they want them kept in place. U.S. businesses that benefit from the tariffs are likely to ask for them to be extended.

On the other side, Americans are facing the highest inflation in more than four decades. Domestic companies are struggling to find key supplies. President Jo Biden faces intense pressure to calm the rising inflation and one of the solutions mooted is lifting at least some tariffs imposed during the U.S.-China trade war.

The WhiteHouse has got a problem to solve, whether to lift tariffs to help keep consumer costs low, or whether to keep them in force to help domestic manufacturers compete.

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