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Biden Imposes Increased Tariffs on Chinese Electric Cars and Solar Cells

Biden Imposes Increased Tariffs
Getty Getty
Biden Imposes Increased Tariffs
Getty Getty

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Biden Imposes Increased Tariffs: More and more Chinese-made commodities, including electric automobiles, solar panels, steel, and more, are subject to higher tariffs. These tariffs were initially imposed during the Trump administration and have been continued and increased by the Biden administration. To protect American workers, the White House has emphasized these actions as reactions to unjust trade policy. Anticipating this, China has spoken out against these proposals.


As the US navigates a challenging election year, the imposition of these tariffs is viewed by commentators as a strategic move, potentially influencing votes. This development follows the criticism from former President Trump, who strongly opposed Biden’s support for electric vehicles, fearing they would impact the American auto sector.



The White House has announced that imports valued at approximately $18 billion will be affected by the new tariffs. For instance, Chinese taxes on electric automobiles will see a significant increase, jumping from 25% to 100%. This could potentially lead to a decrease in the demand for Chinese electric vehicles in the US market. Similarly, tariffs on solar cells are also set to quadruple, from 25% to 50%. This could impact the competitiveness of Chinese solar panel manufacturers in the US. Additionally, some steel and aluminum items will more than double, going from 7.5% or lower to 25%. This could lead to higher prices for these commodities in the US, affecting industries that rely on them.


The US placed extensive tariffs on Chinese imports during the Trump administration, and these measures increase them. The rationale behind them is the trade imbalance and unjust practices. The decision to maintain and increase tariffs highlights a major change in US trade policy, away from its previous support for global commerce benefits. This change in attitude is evident in the nearly 1,500 comments received by the Biden administration’s review process, most of which were from business owners arguing for the reduction of tariffs to prevent price increases for consumers.


Former US trade official and current Asia Society Policy Institute fellow Wendy Cutler has speculated that, in return for the support of home industries and the maintenance of jobs, Americans could be ready to pay a premium for automobiles. Preemptive action, she said, is necessary to keep vital industries like automotive production competitive.


White House officials have denied allegations that these tariffs are driven by domestic political agendas and have instead stated that the duties are a response to unfair trade practices by China, including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, which harm US interests. In contrast to Trump’s stance, they have defended the tariffs’ targeted character, arguing that they will not worsen inflation.


Trump claims that US automakers, especially in swing states like Michigan, would be put at risk by Biden’s emphasis on electric vehicle promotion, in sharp contrast to Trump’s call for tariffs on all goods, with a special emphasis on Chinese imports.


There is a possibility of similar actions by Europe, even though levies on electric vehicles may have a limited impact. Natasha Ebtehadj from Artemis Investment Management suggests that, given the relatively small amount of Chinese imports to the US, developments in Europe could be more significant.


Significant economic reshuffling, marked by tit-for-tat tariffs, has resulted from the persistent trade tensions between the US and China, which date back to 2018. Even while these policies have brought in a ton of money for the US government, regular people in the US are paying more for the things they use every day.


Oxford Economics found that the most recent tariff increase may have little real influence on growth and inflation and more of a symbolic than substantive effect. This result, which the firm calls a ’rounding error,’ highlights the limited practical consequences of these levies, according to the firm. However, other experts have different views. For instance, some argue that the tariffs could lead to a decrease in the US trade deficit with China, while others believe that they could lead to a decrease in global trade and economic growth.

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