Even if President-elect Joe Biden officially assumes office as POTUS, the trade war started by Donald Trump vs. China is not likely to end all too quickly. .
While President-elect Joe Biden has plans of improving diplomatic relationships with China, economists and trade experts believe that the new POTUS will still use the U.S. tariffs imposed by Trump as leverage. Although China had responded by suspending imports coming from the U.S., the 10% tariff on the $300 billion worth of goods, will still come in useful as a bargaining tool to gain concessions from China.
Charles Skuba, a former senior official of the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) and a professor at Georgetown University opines that it would be impractical for the new POTUS to immediately make tariff reductions, as he could use them in negotiating trade deals with China.
Since Trump failed to recognize that the tariff increases imposed on Chinese imports adversely impact U.S. businesses that rely on raw materials imported from China, Biden as the new President could be confronted with calls to reduce, if not roll back the tariffs to the original rates. While President Biden can use them as bargaining tools, China’s retaliatory action of limiting its importation of U.S. agricultural products will likewise serve as an important tool for the Chinese government’s trade negotiations.
In the meantime, American exporters, particularly the U.S. farmers will continue to suffer greatly from the lack of export trade. Not unless, the new POTUS can secure trade deals with other countries not only to make up for the lost Chinese revenues, but also to sustainably revitalize the country’s flailing agricultural industry.
While Trump had insisted that China will bear the costs of the raised tariffs,his rhetorics and trade negotiating strategies failed to achieve the goal of reducing the trade deficits that persistently affected the country’s performance in international global trades. In fact the U.S.’ overall trade deficit went on a rise as Trump had also alienated some European governments by imposing similar tariff increases.
Moreover, under the Trump administration, several American companies moved their production facilities in other countries like Mexico and Vietnam, as a way to avoid paying the tariffs imposed on raw materials imported from China. .