Biden imposes on China a sharp increase in tariffs for 18,000 million

Washington decided yesterday to erect an economic wall and raise tariffs on several products from China.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:19
3 Reads
Biden imposes on China a sharp increase in tariffs for 18,000 million

Washington decided yesterday to erect an economic wall and raise tariffs on several products from China.

Recharging on electric cars will go from 25% to 100% (four times more); the tax on electric batteries will rise from 7.5% to 25%; duties on solar panels will rise from 25% to 50%, while the tariff barrier on steel and aluminum will climb from 0%-7.5% to 25%.

So, no matter how much they despise each other, throw insults at each other, accuse each other of being the worst: one, a depraved socialist, and the other, a fascist dictator, there is a line of continuity between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. That connection is China, the factor most feared by power and citizens in the US.

Keeping the tariffs that Trump put in place, President Biden yesterday announced a round of tough new tariffs against $18 billion worth of Chinese imports. A measure that could be described as Trumpist.

The White House argues that this increase is necessary to protect US industry from unfair competition and justifies this measure by "unacceptable risks to the economic security" of the US.

Biden also ordered US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to triple the tariffs on lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and lithium batteries used for other uses. Likewise, by 2025, tariffs on imports from China of semiconductors will jump from 25% to 50%.

This protectionist backlash, in the face of Beijing's unstoppable snooping, extends to a wider range than ever, as for the first time taxes will be imposed on medical needles and syringes, as well as ship cranes on land. This increase in tariffs will also affect medical rubber gloves, some respirators and masks.

Other items, such as batteries and natural graphite, will have periods of gradual entry of higher taxes. According to the White House, this is due to the need to give the manufacturing sector of the United States a longer period of time to make a sufficient supply of domestically produced batteries and meet consumer demand.

"China is manufacturing at a rate and with a trajectory that far exceeds any plausible estimate of global demand," explained an official of the Administration in a telephone press conference. "This will flood the global market with supplies that undermine our ability to develop productive capacity and leave us all in the world in a more vulnerable state to this economic coercion," he insisted.

From the White House, and from different agencies, concern has grown in recent weeks about the internal subsidies that China is offering for the development of clean energy. They believe that Beijing is illegitimately helping, with these subsidies, an overproduction of products such as solar panels and electric cars that go far beyond domestic demand.

If these companies cannot sell this excess production domestically, sources in the United States indicated that this could end up in global markets and make it very difficult for the nascent green energy industry to be competitive in other countries.

"China's excess capacity distorts global prices and patterns, which hurts companies and workers in the US, and also around the world," said Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, in a recent visit to this country . The Chinese authorities denied it.