Yellen says US would consider imposing tariffs, other trade barriers on China

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. would consider imposing tariffs and other trade barriers on China to protect industries impacted by Beijing’s ramped-up production. 

“We are trying to nurture an industry in, for example, solar cells, electric batteries, electric vehicles,” Yellen said Wednesday in Alaska during a stopover before going to China, according to Axios. 

“I wouldn’t want to rule out other possible ways in which we would protect them,” she said. 

Yellen’s remarks signal the Biden administration’s willingness to curb the economic effect of what they say is China pouring cheaper products into the global market and slowing demand for other products from the rest of competing nations. 

Yellen said China has sparked “massive investment” in some industries where production is uptick, but demand has not fully followed. 

“We’re concerned the spillover of Chinese subsidies to these industries are happening in the United States and other countries as well,” Yellen said, adding that apart from the U.S., other nations like Japan, Mexico and European countries are also feeling the effects. 

This is her second trip to China in less than a year. It comes after President Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping had a conversation this week. 

She previously said that China’s intensified production of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and solar energy presents unfair competition that “distorts global prices” and negatively impacts U.S. companies and workers. 

In the lead-up to the trip, she said she would “press my Chinese counterparts to take necessary steps to address this issue.”

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