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Ways and Means Republicans Demand Biden Administration Complete Review of Section 301 China Tariffs

May 07, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08), joined by Trade Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (NE-03), demanded the Biden Administration conclude its review of President Trump’s Section 301 tariffs on China in a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday. Specifically, the letter underscores the importance of the Trump tariffs in protecting American workers, manufacturers, and small businesses from China’s egregious unfair trade practices.

The Trade Act of 1974 requires trade enforcement actions to be reviewed every four years. The Biden administration initiated that review in May 2022, nearly four years after the Trump Section 301 tariffs against China were put into place. Two years later, the Biden Administration has yet to complete the review, leaving uncertain the future of the United States’ ability to combat China’s unfair trade practices.

“It took President Trump only about eight months to conclude the extensive original Section 301 investigation into China’s unfair trade practices, and only about another four months to impose the resulting tariffs. In contrast, the Biden administration has taken two years to study the effectiveness of the tariffs President Trump imposed and their connection to the U.S. relationship with China going forward,” wrote Chairman Jason Smith and Chairman Adrian Smith.

The letter continues, “Continued inaction on the four-year review poses serious risks for U.S. farmers, manufacturers, innovators, small businesses, and workers. Over the last two years, China has attempted to save its faltering economic growth with a new spree of industrial investment. Absolute inventory levels in China are now the highest they have been since data was first collected; if recent history is any guide, that production will be exported to the detriment of U.S. competitiveness. From electric vehicles to petrochemicals to steel to aluminum to a host of sundry manufactured goods, the free market economies of the world are in for an overcapacity shock. But instead of bracing for impact against China’s extreme overcapacity, the administration seems to still be debating various styles of seatbelts.”

The letter follows a Ways and Means Committee hearing in April with Ambassador Tai during which Ways and Means Republicans pushed the Biden Administration to complete its long-running review of the Section 301 tariffs in order to maximize the effectiveness of trade enforcement against China.

You can read the letter here.