Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Stands for China Even at Expense of U.S. Economy – Watch

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that the Biden administration is prepared to take action on China even if it harms the U.S. economy.

“We will not hesitate to take action that is in the national interest, even if it does have some impact on our own economy.” Yellen made the remarks while in Beijing during an interview with CBS News’s “Face The Nation” with host Margaret Brennan.

Brennan asked Yellen if she had “a sense of what the retaliation will be from China” if the administration imposes further “restrictions on high-end technology sales” to the nation.

“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 said she “certainly expressed concern” about China’s decision to restrict exports of two minerals critical to the U.S. 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.”

Yellen’s comments come as the Biden administration is facing increasing pressure from Congress to take a tougher stance on China. Some lawmakers have argued that the administration needs to do more to protect U.S. jobs and businesses from Chinese competition.

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.”