US President Joe Biden is expected to roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports soon, citing competition policy goals to fight inflation and keep economic pressure on Beijing.
People familiar with the situation say that Biden may announce the decision this week.
Democrats are considering including a moratorium on consumer goods such as clothing and school supplies, as well as introducing a broad framework that would allow importers to apply for exemptions from tariffs.
The US Trade Representative’s office is conducting a mandatory four-year review of tariffs imposed under former President Donald Trump.
The comment period for companies and others benefiting from the tariffs will close on July 5, giving the government a chance to adjust its policy.
As he decides what to do, Biden weighs dissenting positions both within his own government and from outside forces, including businesses, labor and lawmakers.
The plan to announce tariff cuts has been repeatedly delayed, government officials and trade experts say. The delay, they say, reflects deep disagreements within their government over China’s tariffs.
On the one hand, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called the tariffs an economic blow, saying the government is looking for ways to restructure them to curb inflation.
On the other side are US Trade Representative Catherine Tye and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who see tariffs as a valuable tool to extract concessions from China.
Skeptics want the tariff cuts combined with another measure designed to pressure Beijing to change practices that the US says are putting American companies and workers at a disadvantage.