National Retail Federation Encourages Biden to Remove Chinese Tariffs

Washington, DC, May 23, 2022-The National Retail Federation penned a letter to President Biden this week urging for a reduction or elimination of Chinese tariffs, reports Furniture Today.

“‘Consumers and businesses continue to feel the pain of higher prices across the board from everyday goods and services to rent and groceries and gas,’ wrote NRF President Matthew Shay. ‘Removing the harmful China 301 tariff will alleviate some of the inflationary pressure on the U.S. economy.’

“Citing a study from the Peterson Institute, Shay wrote that providing tariff relief would reduce the Consumer Price Index by 1.3 percentage points and would go a long way in fighting inflation.

“‘The current surge in inflation is caused by many factors, and it will require a careful balance of fiscal and monetary policy solutions to bring it under control,’ he wrote. ‘We have noted the administration’s recent policy recommendations regarding inflation, and we respectfully observe that one of the most effective and meaningful tools-tariff relief-has not yet been put forward. This is a missed opportunity. Inflation is likely to linger in the economy for many months.’

“Biden’s circle is divided on the issue. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters that Section 301 tariffs ‘pose more harm on consumers and businesses’ than they do on China and that they ‘aren’t very strategic in the sense of addressing real issues.’

“U.S. trade Representative Katherine Tai on the other hand is more staunch on leaving tariffs in place. She has advocated for a broader trade strategy that looks to protect U.S. jobs while looking at China’s behavior in global markets. She has also said that if tariffs were to disappear, she would lose some power at the negotiating table with China.

“Inflation has risen as much as 8% over the past year. Biden and his administration are under increasing pressure to get prices down, especially as midterms approach.

“A tariff review is currently underway, but it could take months. The USTR is accepting comments on continued tariffs online.”