WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – There’s a push for President Joe Biden to bring down prices by rolling back Trump-era tariffs. Supporters say the move could help with surging inflation by lowering costs on imported goods.
Right now, Americans pay extra for Chinese imports because of the tariffs put in place by the Trump administration. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says many of those tariffs were a bad decision in the first place.
“They’re basically a tax on the American consumer, they drive up prices,” Kaine said.
That’s why he and other lawmakers are urging President Biden to get rid of the added fees, as a way to lower the price of imported goods like electronics, cars and steel.
White House Economic Adviser Cecilia Rouse says the proposal is under consideration, but that President Biden is also weighing the impacts those tariffs have for U.S. security and competition.
“Obviously, the tariffs is part of a geopolitical conversation as well. And so he wants to consider those in a very thoughtful strategic manner,” Rouse said.
Sen. Kaine appreciates those concerns, but still wants to see the Biden administration take a careful look at each of the tariffs.
“Reduce all of them that they can, except if there’s a really critical national security imperative. And if they do that, I think it can save Americans a lot of money,” Kaine said.
Some lawmakers are more skeptical and believe when it comes to trade with China, we have to be careful.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., supports the possibility of lifting some of the tariffs, but believes they need to be considered individually in the context of our relationship with China.
“We know China doesn’t do fair trade. They subsidize their products and they dump things on our market and it hurts American jobs and they raise prices,” Scott said. “So we’ve got to be very careful.”
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., agrees that this has to be done cautiously. He’s also calling for the U.S. to strengthen domestic supply chains.
“Long-term dependence on China products [is] not good at all. Some immediate relief I’m open to,” Warner said.
With inflation hurting families right now, Sen. Kaine feels there is no time to waste.
“I would have liked to have seen it done a while back. But I still think if we could do this soon it would make a real difference for people,” Kaine said.