Yellen says Chinese response possible on expected US tariff action

By Thomson Reuters May 13, 2024 | 10:06 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States could see a significant response from China following any U.S. tariff actions, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday ahead of expected new tariffs targeting certain sectors this week.

“President Biden believes that anything we do should be targeted to our concerns and not broad-based and hopefully we will not see a significant Chinese response. But that’s always a possibility,” Yellen told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

Yellen’s comments, given ahead of an event on broadband, come as U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to announce new tariffs on Tuesday that will include a large hike on levies for electric vehicles.

The tariffs will also target semiconductors, solar equipment and medical supplies, sources told Reuters last week.

Asked if the United States wants a trade war with China, Yellen said: “We’re working to stabilize our economic relationship. We do not wish to disengage from China economically, but we do think that the playing field should be fair, and China engages in unfair practices like massive subsidies.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Caitlin Webber)