Biden to quadruple tariffs on Chinese EVs, solar components, steel, aluminum, semiconductors

Biden announced Tuesday that he will quadruple the tariffs on electric vehicles imported from China, to 100%, and increase duties on clean energy products worth $18 billion, including solar components, batteries, and semiconductors.

A White House official announced that the tariff on electric cars will increase from its current 25% level this year.

Last month, Mr. Biden promised to increase tariffs significantly on Chinese imports of steel and aluminum.

The move will help Mr. Biden to reinforce his pledge to protect the U.S. steel and auto industries, as well as their workers, from foreign competition. Mr. Biden wants to prove to voters that he is tougher than Trump on China and has protected American goods more.

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On Tuesday afternoon, the president will discuss his plans in a speech from the White House.

Tariff increases on Chinese goods include:

Semiconductors will increase from 25% to 50% in 2025.

* The lithium-ion battery market will grow from 7.5% this year to 25%.

* The lithium-ion batteries used in non-EV vehicles will increase from 7.5% by 2026 to 25%.

Solar cells will increase from 25% to 50% in this year.

* Ship-to shore cranes that currently do not have a tax, will be reduced to 25% in this year.

After a long-overdue review, the decision was taken after Mr. Trump’s tariffs were reviewed on about $300 billion in Chinese imports. The majority of Trump’s tariffs are still in effect.

Mr. Trump made fun of the plan at his rally in New Jersey last weekend. He said that if he were elected, he’d consider imposing tariffs on Chinese imports of 60% or higher.

“He said he was going to impose a tariff of 100% on all Chinese electric cars. “Isn’t it nice?” said Mr. Trump. Biden should have done it four years ago.

Mr. Trump warned Chinese companies would try to avoid tariffs by manufacturing cars in Mexico, and then shipping them back to the U.S. through the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement signed during his presidency. He said that he would impose 200% tariffs on Chinese cars made in Mexico.

Officials at the White House say that the move is a response to China’s unfair trading practices, and targets strategic sectors in the U.S. which are growing. Beijing’s threat to intellectual property has led to it controlling 90% of global production of technology used in infrastructure, energy, and health.

The tariffs are a growing concern that China’s overproduction of these goods could hurt Mr. Biden in his efforts to increase domestic manufacturing as well as green energy investments.

Officials claim that this poses “unacceptable risk to America’s economic security and supply chains.”

Beijing last week urged Washington to adhere to the rules of World Trade Organization and remove all tariffs against China. A spokesman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Mr. Biden’s expected move by saying that China would take any necessary measures to protect its rights and interest.

Mr. Biden’s plan to increase tariffs is mostly symbolic, because China does not have a significant foothold on the U.S. market targeted by the Administration.

The Biden administration wants to stop a flood from cars made in China hitting the U.S. marketplace by imposing a steep rise in electric vehicle tariffs. China’s presence in the U.S. has been minimal because tariffs have effectively kept Chinese electric vehicles off the market for years. Solar companies export their products to the U.S. mainly from other countries in order to avoid costs.

China has begun to invest heavily in clean energy production as a way to stimulate economic growth.

During her recent visit to China, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised concerns about the growing investment in “new” sectors targeted by Beijing. These include electric vehicles, batteries, and solar.

She said, at a recent press conference: “China has grown to a size that is simply too big for the rest the world can absorb.” “Actions by the PRC can change world prices.” When the world market is flooded with artificially low-priced Chinese products, it puts the viability and sustainability of American firms as well as other foreign ones in question.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing says government-subsidized Chinese EVs “could end up being an extinction-level event for the U.S. auto sector.”

Earlier this summer, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, told analysts in the industry that Chinese EVs were so good, that “they would pretty much destroy most other auto companies around the world” without trade barriers.