Trade experts said eliminating or reducing tariffs would improve competition between the U.S. and China. 

Former President Trump’s relationship with China has significantly reduced the success rate of Wisconsin companies, panelists explained yesterday in a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce World Trade Association virtual event.

While tariffs have received negative international attention, former Obama- and Trump-era U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Craig Allen said he’s optimistic for Wisconsin agricultural exports that are performing well with tariffs, such as dairy and ginseng.

But while ag exports have continued to perform steadily, industries like manufacturing and supply-chain companies have been hurt. A dismantling of Trump-era tariffs could change this.  

President Biden’s foreign policy portfolio would be “much less confrontational and combative and would focus more on the competition side – a quieting down of the ideological disputes and a continued focus on human rights,” Allen said.  

M.E. Dey & Co. President Sandi Siegel said the elimination or reduction of tariffs would improve competition between the U.S. and China and other countries. 

“It would be helpful in both exports and imports — it makes our U.S. product more competitive,” Siegel said.  

Like Allen, she argued a calming of foreign relations between the two countries — who both rely heavily on trade — would improve the transfer of goods and services.  

“I think that the Biden administration will take a more multilateral relationship with trade in general,” Siegel said. “We’re all disappointed not to be a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” 

-By Jay Stahl

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