US President Joe Biden’s administration is looking at whether to cut tariffs on some Chinese imports in a bid to ease inflation, the White House said on Tuesday.

Four years ago, former US President Donald Trump imposed his first wave of tariffs, which in total would end up covering some $350 billion (€357 billion) worth of Chinese imports to the US. 

The administration’s review is required to keep the duties from automatically expiring.

One deadline for submitting requests to keep $10 billion in tariffs in place expires Wednesday, while another tranche is set to expire on August 22.

Why is the Biden administration divided on tariffs?

More than 400 requests to maintain the tariffs on Chinese goods had been submitted to the US Trade Representative’s office (USTR) as of late Tuesday, which complicates any plan on removing them. Such requests can trigger a review and continuation of the tariffs. 

The deliberations come as USTR is conducting a four-year review of the tariffs.

Among the associations lobbying for the tariffs to be maintained are 24 labor unions. Labor unions are a key constituency for Biden.

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