(Bloomberg) – President Joe Biden’s trade chief has said it “could make sense” to lift tariffs on some products in order to rein in the highest inflation in nearly four decades.

“Steel and aluminum – we decided to keep some of these tariffs because we need to protect American workers and we need to protect our steel industry; it’s a matter of national security,” Gina Raimondo said in an interview Sunday on ” State of the Union” from CNN. “There are other products — household items, bicycles — that may make sense,” she said, when asked if the administration would consider scrapping duties on billions of dollars worth of imports from China.

“I know the president is looking at this,” Raimondo said. “Anyone who brings him a good idea that he thinks will help American families, he’s ready to do that.”

Biden’s team is weighing what to do with former President Donald Trump’s tariffs on about $300 billion worth of imported goods from the US economy’s biggest rival. While some companies have benefited from tariffs protecting them from competition from Chinese imports, companies that use the goods as inputs in areas such as manufacturing have been hurt.

The views of senior administration officials on what to do with the duties differ: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested in April that the United States was prepared to rescind them to help rein in the rising prices, while U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai pointed to the leverage the duties provide at the negotiating table with China.

Research in March by the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that eliminating a wide range of tariffs, including those on Chinese goods, could reduce the rate of inflation by 1.3 percentage points. .

Trump imposed tariffs after an investigation found that China stole intellectual property from American companies and forced them to transfer technology. China then responded with its own import taxes.

The former president also imposed duties on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Asia and many other countries in 2018, citing national security risks. While a truce has since been reached with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom, the United States has refused to remove EU steel and aluminum from the list of products considered a threat to their national security.

Last year, Raimondo said Trump’s 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on inland aluminum shipments had been effective. Steel producers want the duties preserved, but manufacturers have called on Biden to end them, saying they have hurt family businesses and severed ties with trading partners in Mexico and Canada at the EU and Japan.

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