Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told the New York Times this summer that tariffs had harmed American consumers, but also warned that Chinese subsidies for exporters pose a challenge to the United States. United States sales representative Katherine Tai described tariffs as a leverage effect.
Understand the Infrastructure Act
- A trillion dollar package passed. The Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan infrastructure package on Aug. 10 that concludes weeks of intense negotiations and debates on the largest federal investment in the nation’s aging public construction system in more than a decade.
- The final vote. The final balance in the Senate was 69 to 30 votes against. Legislation yet to be passed by the House of Representatives would touch almost every facet of the American economy and strengthen the nation’s response to planet warming.
- Main Spending Areas. Overall, the bipartisan plan focuses on spending on transportation, utilities, and removing pollution.
- transport. About $ 110 billion would be used on roads, bridges, and other transportation projects; $ 25 billion for airports; and $ 66 billion for the railroad, making Amtrak most of the funding it has received since it was founded in 1971.
- Utilities. The Senators have also raised $ 65 billion to connect hard-to-reach rural communities to high-speed internet and attract low-income urban dwellers who can’t afford it, and $ 8 billion for western water infrastructure.
- Cleaning up pollution: Approximately $ 21 billion would be used to rehabilitate abandoned wells and mines, as well as Superfund sites.
When asked about the government’s review of tariffs on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “I have no schedule for you as to when this review will be completed.”
The impatience of the economy towards the actions of the administration is growing. Business leaders say they need clarity on whether American companies will be able to do business in China, one of its largest and fastest growing markets. Business groups say their members are at a competitive disadvantage from the tariffs that have increased costs for American importers.
“We should do everything in our power to increase China’s use of and reliance on American technology products,” said Patrick Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, in an interview last week. The government is “struggling to create a framework for its policy-driven engagement with China,” he said.
“For me, just saying ‘let’s be tough on China’ is not a policy, it’s not a campaign slogan,” he added. “It is time to get down to the real work of having a real policy of trade relations and engagement around business export and technology with China.”
In early August, a group of influential US companies sent a letter to Ms. Yellen and Ms. Tai urging the government to resume trade talks with China and lower tariffs on imported Chinese goods.
“The main dilemma that companies are facing right now is simply uncertainty,” said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, who organized the letter. “Will the tariffs stay the same? Are they valid in the long term? What is the process of elimination to apply for a tariff exemption? Nobody knows.”