Treasury Sec Janet Yellen Willing to Jeopardize US Economy…Again
In a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed that the Biden administration would prioritize national security over the economy. Yellen emphasized that they were willing to take necessary measures to safeguard the country, even if it meant potentially negative consequences for the economy. She was also asked about potential Chinese retaliation should the US administration impose further limits on high-end technology sales to the country.
“Well, an objective of my trip was to explain that national security is something that we can’t compromise about and we will protect, and we will do so even if it harms our own narrow economic interests,” she said. “But that when we take such actions, which do have an effect on the Chinese economy, that we will make sure that they are transparent, narrowly targeted, and well explained.”
Yellen expressed her concern about China restricting the export of two minerals that are essential for the United States’ economy and military.
“Our own actions are narrowly targeted to address national security concerns, and I- it’s not clear that the actions that the Chinese took are similarly narrowly targeted at their national security concerns,” she said. “So this is an area that I expressed concern about.”
She said she went to China to “make sure that we don’t engage in a series of unintended escalatory actions that will be harmful to our overall economic relationship with one another.”
“And we have had very little contact, both senior officials, and also just the American people and the Chinese people who’ve had very little contact with one another over the last several years, in part because of COVID,” she said. “And that’s a situation where misunderstandings can develop. We have a new team on the economic side in Beijing, that it’s important to establish person-to-person relationships, and to open ongoing channels of communication, where concerns can be aired and discussed. And I do think my trip has been successful in forging those relationships and creating the opportunity for a deeper set of more frequent contacts at our staff levels.”