China-made electric vehicles

Biden Hits Chinese Electric Cars and Solar Cells With Higher Tariffs

In a move aimed at addressing what it perceives as unfair trade practices, the Biden administration has announced an escalation of tariffs on a range of Chinese goods, including electric cars, solar panels, steel, and aluminium.

The decision to increase tariffs, signalled in advance, reflects a continuation of the tough stance on trade taken by the previous Trump administration. The White House defended the measures as necessary to protect American jobs and industries from what it sees as harmful practices by Beijing.

Under the new measures, tariffs on electric vehicles imported from China will see a significant increase from 25% to 100%. Additionally, tariffs on solar cells will rise from 25% to 50%, while certain steel and aluminium products will face tariffs of 25%, up from 7.5% or less.

The move comes amid concerns about the impact of Chinese imports on domestic industries and jobs, particularly in key electoral battleground states. However, analysts suggest that the tariffs may have limited practical effects and are largely symbolic, intended to address political concerns in an election year.

While the tariffs are expected to have minimal impact on inflation and economic growth, they represent a continuation of the US-China trade tensions that have persisted since 2018. Despite efforts to reach a détente, disagreements over trade practices and intellectual property rights continue to strain relations between the two countries.

The Biden administration’s decision to maintain and expand tariffs underscores the broader shift in US trade policy towards a more protectionist stance, reflecting bipartisan concerns about China’s economic practices and influence.

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