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Stock illustration: U.S. and China playing chess

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Biden administration is looking to “reconfigure” tariffs imposed on Chinese goods under former President Donald Trump to make them more “strategic.”

“This administration inherited a set of 301 tariffs imposed by the Trump administration that I think really weren’t designed to serve our strategic interests,” Yellen told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Yellen’s comment referred to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Trump used that law to hit China with the tariffs starting in July 2018, after an investigation concluded that China stole intellectual property from American companies and forced them to transfer technology.

While China is guilty of unfair trade practices, and the United States should be acting to protect its national-security interests, some of the existing tariffs have hurt American consumers and businesses, Yellen said.

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