For Biden, 2 Moves on the Inflation Front

He considers rollback of tariffs on China, pressures oil companies
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
For Biden, 2 Moves on the Inflation Front
President Biden addresses the AFL-CIO convention, on Tuesday in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Amid sky-high inflation and a reeling stock market, the Biden administration is looking for remedies, and two are making headlines. However, neither is seen as being able to make a substantive dent in the problems:

  • Tariffs: The White House may roll back some or all of the tariffs imposed on China by former President Trump, reports the New York Times. If all such penalties were removed, it might save US households about $800 a year. However, given the fraught politics of the issue, it's highly unlikely President Biden would wipe out all the tariffs, making any resulting benefits even more modest, per the Times. One estimate is that Biden's rollbacks might shave, at best, a quarter of a percentage point off inflation, now running at a red-hot 8.6%.

  • Oil companies: President Biden on Wednesday sent a letter to major oil refiners, including Exxon Mobil, BP, and Shell, and urged them to ramp up production as a way to bring down gas prices, reports the AP. "At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable," he wrote, per NPR. A post at CNBC is skeptical about what this might actually achieve: "Refiners can’t just ramp up output, and utilization rates are already above 90%. Additionally, some refiners are now being reconfigured to make alternate products like biofuel."
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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