Despite no signs from the White House of easing trade tensions with Beijing, the US Senate has passed a substantial bill to cut tariffs on hundreds of consumer and industrial imports from China.
The house unanimously passed a bill that would significantly lower trade barriers on around 1,660 products shipped into the US, nearly half of which are produced in China, according to Reuters’ analysis.
The bill – nicknamed the “miscellaneous tariff bill” – has now been passed by both houses and will shortly be sent to the President’s office for final approval. The White House has not spoken publicly about the bill.
News of the measure was welcomed by some industry members who benefit from importing the products for their own businesses. The US National Association of Manufacturers said that at present the tariffs cost American firms up to $1 million a day.
“It makes no sense because it is a direct and punishing tax on making things in America and for creating jobs in America,” said Jay Timmons, the association’s president.