Daily Management Review

Calls To Trump To Cut China Tariffs Due To Economic Impact Of Coronavirus On US Businesses


Calls To Trump To Cut China Tariffs Due To Economic Impact Of Coronavirus On US Businesses
United States president Donald Trump is facing calls for cutting tariffs on Chinese and other imported goods from industry groups, lawmakers and even some government officials because of the economic fallout of the spread of the coronavirus that the businesses in the country are facing. Such urges were expressed from various quarters despite the Trump administration taking some steps to cushion the economic blow from virus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic is being viewed as the biggest opportunity for the US to roll back at least some import taxes since last December when the US reached a partial agreement on trade with China. ,
Those people, business bodies and political forces opposed to the tariffs both outside and inside the US government have argued that by rolling back the protectionist trade policy adopted by Trump could be the key to save both American business and the consumers billions of dollars while also delivering a positive signal to the market investors. Panic of the virus spread among investors resulted in a 10 per cent drop in the US stock markets sending them down into bear market territory.
Despite some roll backs and cuts in tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the US, about $370 billion worth of Chinese goods imported annually still face tariffs of up to 25 per cent. According to figures from the US Customs and Border Protection, over the past 20 months, some $48.1 billion in duties on Chinese goods were extracted from US importers of Chinese goods by the Trump administration under its "Section 301" tariffs.
"This is a tax that is fully within the authorities of the executive branch, so they can very quickly give American businesses and American consumers a tax cut by lifting the tariffs that are in place," US Representative Stephanie Murphy told Reuters on Thursday.
Murphy urged the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to declare a trade "detente" in the way of lifting of tariffs on both Chinese and European goods which he argued will help small and medium-sized businesses in this hour of economic crisis created by the spread of the coronavirus.
Murphy said that Lighthizer, who had been at the forefront of the Trump administration’s policy of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods was “not receptive to the idea" of repealing of the tariffs while attending a closed door meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee.
There were no comments available from the office of the USTR.
"Both economies are suffering from a common challenge," said USCBC President Craig Allen. "Both sides should use this as an opportunity to rein in the self-inflicted damage that tariffs cause."
Allen however said that within the Trump administration, there were opposing views and opinions on the tariff based trade policy being followed by the US and there was apparently "no clear consensus on moving forward with a tariff reduction no matter how obvious it may be that it's in both countries' interest."