China urges US to drop tariffs on Chinese goods in its ‘own interest’

Beijing on Thursday urged Washington to drop additional tariffs on Chinese goods, saying it would be “in the interests of U.S. firms and consumers.”

“[The removal] will benefit the U.S., China and the whole world,” said Shu Jueting, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), during a press conference.

MOFCOM’s comments came amid signs that the Biden administration may revise its stance on trade.

Last Wednesday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it would conduct a review of the initial Section 301 tariffs it imposed on Chinese imports in 2018 under Donald Trump’s presidency.

From May 7 until July 5, the USTR will gather industry comments on the first batch of Chinese industrial imports worth $34 billion. The agency will carry out the same procedure on the second batch of $16 billion imports from June 24 to August 22.

“It is important for us to focus on a durable, effective strategy with respect to our ability to compete with China, in this global environment and through the very disruptive period that we are experiencing right now that is causing pain to the ordinary American back at home,” U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai said earlier.

The U.S. consumer prices, which tracks what consumers pay for goods and services, increased peaked 8.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, hitting the fastest inflation rate since 1981.

Despite the consumer price inflation in the U.S. slowed slightly last month, jumping by 8.3 percent compared to April 2021, the annual inflation remains at its highest rate in 40 years.

Shu said trade teams from both sides were maintaining communications.

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