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December 2, 2020 10:00 AM, EST

Joe Biden Says He Won’t Immediately Lift China Tariffs

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at an event in Delaware on Dec. 1. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)President-elect Joe Biden speaks at an event in Delaware on Dec. 1. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sits in the background. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

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President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately lift tariffs placed by President Donald Trump on many imports from China or break Trump’s initial trade deal.

Biden says he wants to maximize his leverage in future talks with the United States’ geopolitical rival.

Speaking to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden said, “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.” Biden adds in Friedman’s column published Dec. 2: “I’m not going to prejudice my options.”

RELATED: C.H. Robinson Warns US Companies Could Miss Tariff Refunds

Under Trump, the U.S. and China engaged in a yearlong trade war that has been largely frozen since a Phase One deal was reached in January. While some industries have benefited from Trump’s protectionist policies, the policies have been largely panned by the business community and most experts — and most of the cost of tariffs has been borne by American businesses and consumers.

Biden tells Friedman an early priority after his January sweairing-in will be to restore relationships with allies to strengthen his negotiating position with China. Biden says key to talks with China is “leverage” and in his view “we don’t have it yet.”

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