South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris pose before the start of at the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 12, 2019.
The ten Democratic candidates on stage at Thursday’s debate wasted no time bashing President Donald Trump on issues like health care, immigration and gun control. But when it came to immediately repealing the tariffs Trump has placed on Chinese imports, no candidates raised their hands.
Pete Buttigieg began his answer to a U.S.-China trade question by inquiring about Trump’s progress on making a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April?” said Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind. When asked whether he would repeal tariffs he responded that he “would have a strategy that would include the tariffs as leverage.”
Ahead of next month’s round of trade talks with China, Trump announced on Wednesday that he will postpone a planned tariff increase on about $250 billion in imports from China. The levies were originally scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1 and were pushed back to Oct. 15.
Friday, China added farm products like soybeans and pork to the list of products it would exempt from tariffs.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar did not deny that she has supported Trump’s steel tariffs but said the administration has taken matters too far.
“He has assessed these tariffs on our allies,” she said. “He has put us in the middle of this trade war and he is treating our farmers and our workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos.”
As president she said she would “go back to the negotiating table,” and would not have put tariffs in place to begin with. She did not say that she would repeal the existing tariffs.
Like Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang said he would not repeal tariffs immediately but vowed to make sure to “come to a deal that addresses the concerns of American companies and American producers.”
U.S. stocks SPX, +0.02% traded higher on Friday, extending a trend that’s partly due to easing U.S.-China trade tensions.
September 15 - September 21
September 30 - October 2
October 5 - October 9