China tariffs will stay, US Treasury chief Janet Yellen says

The United States will keep tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the former Trump administration in place for now, but will evaluate how to proceed after a thorough review, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Thursday, Reuters reports.

“For the moment, we have kept the tariffs in place that were put in by the Trump administration … and we’ll evaluate going forward what we think is appropriate,” Yellen told the cable news network, adding that Washington expected Beijing to adhere to its commitments on trade.

Asked if tariffs worked, Yellen hesitated, then said, “We’ll look at that.”

The White House last month said it would review all national security measures put in place by former President Donald Trump, including an interim trade deal with Beijing.

The deal eased tensions between the world’s two largest economies after a damaging trade war that U.S. experts estimate led to a peak loss of 245,000 U.S. jobs, but most of the tariffs remain in place on both sides.

China pledged to buy US$200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services over two years under the interim deal signed by Trump in January 2020, but Beijing fell 42 percent short of its target for last year, a recent study showed.

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