US trade nominee says Prez Joe Biden's team backs use of tariffs

Published on Feb 25, 2021 11:59 PM IST

"Tariffs are a very important part of our fair trade remedies toolbox," US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai told the Senate Finance Committee, signaling the new US team on commerce policy had no plans for a complete about-face from the hardline stance of Donald Trump's government.

Tai said she would work to ensure that China meets its commitments under a January 2020 trade accord between Beijing and Washington.(Bloomberg Photo)
Tai said she would work to ensure that China meets its commitments under a January 2020 trade accord between Beijing and Washington.(Bloomberg Photo)
AFP | | Posted by Harshit Sabarwal

The administration of President Joe Biden views tariffs as a valuable policy tool, the nominee to be the next US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, told lawmakers Thursday at her confirmation hearing.

"Tariffs are a very important part of our fair trade remedies toolbox," Tai told the Senate Finance Committee, signaling the new US team on commerce policy had no plans for a complete about-face from the hardline stance of Donald Trump's government.

Tai -- who also echoed the Biden administration's commitment to multilateral bodies during the hearing -- signaled support for maintaining Trump administration tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and vowed to keep China honest on an agreement struck a year ago.

"We have to acknowledge that we have ... a very significant global marketplace problem in the steel and aluminum markets that are driven primarily by China's overcapacity," Tai said. "But it's not, it's not just a China problem."

Tai said she would work to ensure that China meets its commitments under a January 2020 trade accord between Beijing and Washington.

But she said she supports a "holistic review on China" and US-China strategy.

Tai also noted that the United States was a founding member of the World Trade Organization, which had been a favorite punching bag for the Trump administration.

"We need to be having hard conversations in Geneva in a constructive way" in order to strengthen the body," Tai said.


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