Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday that the tariffs on Chinese goods left in place by the Trump administration will stay, at least for now.
“For the moment, we have kept the tariffs in place that were put in by the Trump administration,” Yellen told CNBC. “we’ll evaluate going forward what we think is appropriate.”
Yellen said the Biden administration is “in the process of evaluating what our approach should be toward China.” Last month, the White House said it is reviewing a number of national security and China policies, including the Phase One trade deal.
The Trump administration also left in place export controls for Chinese firms that the US claims are tied to China’s military. Although she hasn’t been confirmed yet, Gina Raimondo, Biden’s pick for commerce secretary, said at her nomination hearing that she intends to use the tariffs and export controls to the fullest extent possible.” Raimondo said she would be “very aggressive” in her approach to Beijing.
The Biden administration is prioritizing confronting China on a number of fronts besides trade. On the military front, US warships have been operating in the South China Sea to challenge Beijing’s claims, and the Pentagon is conducting a review of its posture in Asia.