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Raimondo Says 'It's Fair' to Expect Changes to China Tariffs

Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said it’s “fair” to expect changes to U.S. tariffs against China, but the administration hasn’t yet made a final decision. Raimondo, speaking during a meeting of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, said the administration is still undergoing its review of China policies and decisions will be made along with other agencies, including the State Department.

“We are right now undergoing a whole-of-government review of our strategy as it relates to China, including tariffs,” Raimondo said during the April 22 meeting. “So I think it's fair to say there may be changes, but it's early for me to say what the changes might be.” Regardless of how tariffs change, she said Commerce will continue to hold China accountable for unfair trade actions. “I can tell you this,” Raimondo said. “We believe we need to take a very aggressive posture as it relates to China and do what we need to do in order to counter their anti-competitive actions.”

Although the administration is discussing tariffs, Raimondo stressed it is focusing on gaining support for President Joe Biden’s jobs plan, which includes increased funding for domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and other critical goods to reduce U.S. dependence on China. She also said the administration wants to secure more funding for “port infrastructure” to make trade more efficient. “The president's plan is bold because we have fallen behind. And we feel that it's time to catch up,” Raimondo said. “We're going to be spending a lot of time on this.”

The administration is prioritizing domestic funding but will be open to imposing and enforcing U.S. “defensive tools,” Raimondo said, including tariffs and export controls. She said the U.S. needs to “make sure we have a level playing field so that American companies and small and medium-sized companies in the supply chain have a chance.”