When it comes to tariffs on China, President Donald Trump made the right moves, according to one top official in his successor’s administration.
Biden Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo admitted in a Thursday interview that the evidence shows tariffs the Trump levied on Chinese products as president “have been effective,” the Daily Caller reported.
“We have to be honest”
The concession from the new secretary of commerce came during a talk with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle the day after Raimondo was sworn in.
“Former President Trump got a lot of credit from a headline basis for taking on China,” Ruhle told the Biden official, according to the Daily Caller. “But go beneath the headline, we didn’t win any trade war. How are you going to address China?”
In response, Raimondo blasted China’s behavior on trade as “anti-competitive” and “coercive,” and vowed that the Biden administration would be “tough on China.”
“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,” she said, as the Daily Caller reported.
“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,” the secretary added.
“Those tariffs have been effective”
Raimondo also indicated that the White House would be keeping its options open with regard to the communist nation. “There’s no one tool in our toolbox, but we have to recognize the magnitude that China’s behavior — the threat that it poses,” she said, according to the Daily Caller.
“We need to invest in America,” Raimondo declared. “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?” she said. “I think that’s just as important as the defense.”
But when pressed on whether Trump’s tariffs would remain in place under Biden, Raimondo was forced to give the former president a measure of recognition.
“Let me say those tariffs have been effective,” the commerce secretary conceded, according to the Daily Caller. “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.”
According to NBC, Raimondo also told Ruhle on Thursday that “getting Americans back to work” is her top priority as commerce secretary. Only time will tell, however, if the policies her boss implements will be enough to get the workforce — and the economy — back on track.