Farm Bureau Among Groups Who Call for Tariff Relief

Nearly three dozen of the nation’s most influential business groups—representing farmers, chip makers, and retailers, among others—recently called on the Biden administration to restart negotiations with China and cut tariffs on imports.

The tariffs, which are paid by U.S. importers, were kept in place in part to ensure that China fulfills its obligations under its 2020 Phase One trade pact with the U.S.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the business groups contend that Beijing has met “important benchmarks and commitments” in the agreement, including reducing some regulatory barriers to U.S. agricultural exports to China.

The trade groups included the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Chad Bown, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics who closely follows the Phase One deal, has said that China is well behind in its commitment to boost purchases by $200 billion over two years.

The trade groups indirectly acknowledged that, saying “there is more work to be done by both governments to ensure that China meets its existing purchase agreements.”

The groups expressed support for “continued engagement with China on trade and economic issue.”

It argued though that the U.S. should start negotiating over issues not covered in Phase One, including state subsidies, government procurements, cybersecurity and digital trade. The group also asked Tai’s office to grant companies exceptions from some tariffs and to start a process of reducing tariffs on Chinese goods overall.

Source: Wall Street Journal