President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that he might end some of the tariffs imposed on China under former President Donald Trump in an effort to lower consumer prices.
“I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said during an address to the nation from the White House. “I want every American to know that I am taking inflation very seriously and it is my top domestic priority.”
Biden said in response to a reporter’s question that he’s discussing ending the tariffs on China imposed under Trump, but added that “no decision has been made on it. We’re looking at what would have the most positive impact.”
Trump hit China with a variety of financial penalties that caused prices on consumer items like furniture and clothing to rise. CNBC reports that economists are divided on whether ending the tariffs would improve inflation, but it does note that many say that removing them is one of the White House’s only options if it wants to lower costs.
“The first cause of inflation is a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Biden said. “Not only did it shut down our global economy, it threw supply chains and demand completely out of whack.”
He added, “And this year we have a second cause: [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine.”
When asked whether he shoulders the blame for rising prices, Biden said, “we’re in power,” adding, “We control all three branches of government. Well, we don’t really.”
He also complained that Democrats’ slim control over Congress makes it difficult to pass spending packages.
Biden told reporters that he’s “not going to predict” when prices will start to come down.
“It ranges depending on which economists you’re talking to — by the end of this year and some say it’s going to be, it’s going to increase next year,” he said. “But there’s others who say by the end of this year, you’re going to see it come down, by the calendar year[‘s end]. I don’t know, but I know what we have to do to make sure that we can bring it down.”
If Biden ultimately drops some tariffs on China, he’s almost certain to face questions about son Hunter’s reported ties to Beijing and whether there’s an appearance of a conflict.
Hunter Biden, long dogged by allegations he peddled influence and access to his father while the senior Biden was President Obama’s vice president, was listed as an owner of a Chinese government-linked investment firm nearly four months after his lawyer said he’d divested, the Washington Examiner recently reported.
Business records from China’s National Credit Information Publicity System showed Skaneateles, an LLC wholly owned by Biden, as a 10% owner in BHR Partners, the Examiner reported.
Joe Biden, as the Democrat presidential nominee in 2020, insisted that nobody in his family would have any business relationships with foreign corporations or countries if he won.
As president-elect in December 2020, Joe Biden said his family members would not be involved in “any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict with an appropriate distance from the presidency and government,” the Examiner reported.
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