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US president-elect Joe Biden will not move to immediately lift tariffs on China when he takes office next month, vowing that he would be “investing in America first”.

In an interview with the New York Times, Biden said his priority was building up the US economy through industrialisation policies.

“I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home,” Biden said.

With regards to China, which has been locked in a trade war with US during President Donald Trump’s term, Biden said he was looking for “leverage” in talks but would need to wait until the domestic economy was stronger in key areas.

“I’m not going to make any immediate moves and the same applies to the tariffs,” he said.

“I’m not going to prejudice my options.”

Biden continues to press for a new stimulus bill to help the US get through the pandemic and stage a recovery once vaccines are widely available.