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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. isn’t ready to lift tariffs against China, new trade representative says

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. isn’t ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, but might be open to trade negotiations with Beijing, according to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

In her first interview since Senate confirmation, Tai said she recognized that the tariffs can exact a toll on U.S. businesses and consumers, though proponents have said they also help shield companies from subsidized foreign competition.

“I have heard people say, ‘Please just take these tariffs off,’” Tai said. But “yanking off tariffs,” she warned, could harm the economy unless the change is “communicated in a way so that the actors in the economy can make adjustments.”

Tai acknowledged the economic harm that tariffs can cause but said they were imposed “to remedy an unbalanced and unfair trade situation.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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