U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed optimism about the U.S. economy, stating that the country is making progress in reducing inflation and that she does not foresee a recession.
Speaking from India during a meeting of Group of 20 finance officials, Yellen acknowledged the potential spillover effects of slower growth in China on other economies but emphasized that the U.S. economy is on a positive trajectory to address inflation while maintaining a strong labor market.
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Yellen also downplayed the likelihood of U.S. tariff cuts or reductions as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to restore relations with Beijing. She highlighted that while Chinese officials have raised concerns about U.S. tariffs during her recent visit, the underlying issues, such as unfair trade practices, have not been adequately addressed. Yellen emphasized the need for ongoing work to address these concerns going forward.
Yellen clarified that national security concerns and, in some cases, human rights abuses are the driving forces behind U.S. technology restrictions on China rather than being punitive measures.
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She indicated that a new executive order restricting outbound investment, particularly in the semiconductor, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence sectors, is likely to proceed but will be narrowly focused and subject to public comment.
Yellen also commented on the hacking of the emails of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and other government officials, stating that she was not aware of the specific incident during her discussions with Chinese officials. However, she noted that the U.S. government has raised concerns with Beijing regarding cybersecurity issues.
Overall, Yellen’s remarks highlight the U.S. government’s focus on addressing economic challenges, maintaining national security interests, and working towards constructive engagement with China on trade and other issues.