New tariffs on Chinese metals won’t impact inflation, White House says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 6:47 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sharply higher tariffs on Chinese metal products being considered by the Biden administration would not affect U.S. inflation and are necessary for national security, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said on Wednesday.

“If we don’t take action, we’re putting at risk about one of our most critical sectors — what the president calls the backbone of the American economy, the bedrock of our national security — and that’s domestic steel production,” the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers told CNBC.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday will call for sharply higher tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum as part of a package of policies aimed at pleasing steelworkers in the swing state of Pennsylvania, at the risk of angering Beijing.

Bernstein said such tariffs would not have a negative effect on the U.S. economy.

“This is a targeted intervention that shouldn’t have much impact at all on inflation,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Susan Heavey)