Dec 2, 2020 - World

Biden says he won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event to name his economic team at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

"The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page. It's going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies."
  • Biden told NYT columnist Thomas Friedman he didn't think the U.S. yet had the "leverage" in dealing with China. Getting bipartisan consensus in America on "government-led investments in American research and development, infrastructure and education" would achieve this.
  • "I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first," he said.

Worth noting: Biden said he stood by comments he made in a Sept. 13 CNN op-ed in which he wrote that "if Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations," acknowledging to Friedman: "It’s going to be hard."

Go deeper: Biden's Day 1 challenges: China damage control

Go deeper