Biden Targets Chinese Imports With Huge Tariff Hikes Ahead of Election

Zinger Key Points
  • Quadrupling tariff rate on Chinese EVs to 100% this year, while also tripling rates on steel and aluminium.
  • Doubling tariffs on Chinese semiconductors by 2025 and solar cells by 50% this year.

The Biden administration is implementing new tariffs on Chinese imports, targeting sectors like electric vehicles, batteries, and semiconductors, aiming to safeguard U.S. jobs prior to the November election. 

Lael Brainard, the White House national economic adviser, emphasized the importance of these actions to prevent unfair competition from China and protect domestic industries. 

The tariffs, affecting $18 billion worth of Chinese products, focus on strategic areas such as aluminum, steel, and critical minerals, reported the Financial Times.

The tariff adjustments include quadrupling rates on Chinese electric vehicles to 100%, nearly tripling rates on steel and aluminum imports, and doubling rates on Chinese semiconductors by 2025. Tariffs on solar cells will also double this year to 50%.

Biden administration denied any political motives, citing efforts to bolster key sectors prioritized in legislation like the Chips Act and Inflation Reduction Act.

Greta Peisch, formerly with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, highlighted the importance of tariff adjustments to ensure the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the evolving electric vehicle and battery market. 

The move follows a review of tariffs initiated during the Trump administration’s trade war with China, with U.S. officials opting to maintain most of the existing tariffs. 

Despite assertions of non-political intent, the timing coincides with Biden’s efforts to shore up support among union workers, particularly in critical industrial states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

While denying a direct connection to the election, officials highlight the importance of safeguarding U.S. industries against unfair trade practices. 

China, already facing scrutiny from the European Commission over EV imports, perceives the tariffs as attempts to stifle its economic growth.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo by Tatiana Popova and rawf8 via Shuttterstock

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