Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo confirmed Thursday that former President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products “have been effective.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, Raimondo discussed how President Joe Biden’s administration plans on dealing with China in terms of a “whole of government response,” and whether or not they would continue any of the policies Trump put in place.
“Former President Trump got a lot of credit from a headline basis for taking on China. But go beneath the headline, we didn’t win any trade war. How are you going to address China?” Ruhle began.
“We have to be honest, which is to say China’s behavior is anti-competitive, coercive, their human rights abuses are horrific, and they need to be held to account for that,” Raimondo responded. “So, unlike President Trump’s approach of, you know, tweeting out a policy, President Biden’s been very clear, we’re going to be tough on China in a whole of government response.”
She went on to explain that the “Entities List is a powerful tool” that can be used to fight the “behavior” of Chinese telecommunications companies that “is a threat to American economic and national security.” She added that the Chinese also “can’t dump excessive amounts of cheap steel and aluminum” into the United States either. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Calls Out AT&T For Lobbying To Protect Chinese Corporation Accused Of Supporting Human Rights Abuses)
“There’s no one tool in our tool box, but we have to recognize the magnitude that China’s behavior — the threat that it poses,” she continued. “We need to invest in America. So everything I just said is defense. How about offense? How about investing in research and development in America, having an r&d strategy, making semiconductors in America, having the most trained workforce in the world in America?… I think that’s just as important as the defense. ”
Ruhle then asked Raimondo if she planned to keep the tariffs in place that Trump put on various Chinese products.
“Let me say those tariffs have been effective. The data show that those tariffs have been effective. And I think what President Biden has said is we’re going to have a whole of government review of all of these policies, and decide what it makes sense to maintain,” Raimondo concluded.
After taking office, Trump used tariffs to put pressure on China as part of his policy to combat them on intellectual property theft, technological advantages, and trade imbalances. Biden has said he has no plans to roll back the tariffs for now or to renegotiate the Phase One Trade Deal that the Trump administration brokered with China.