Joe Biden will double, triple and quadruple tariffs on some Chinese goods, with EV duties rising from 27.5% to 102.5%

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President Joe Biden will double, triple and quadruple tariffs on some Chinese goods this week, unveiling the measures at a White House event designed to defend American workers, people familiar with the matter said.

Biden will increase or increase tariffs in key sectors after nearly two years of review. The overall tariff on Chinese electric vehicles will rise from 27.5% to 102.5%, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. Others will double or triple in certain sectors, although the scope remains unclear.

Biden and his staff have been working in recent weeks to finalize the measures, including which items to take and which to avoid because the inputs are needed to boost U.S. growth, one of the people said. The final decision was a consensus, the person said.

It is not clear which items were spared, but Biden will not announce any tariff cuts, two of the people said. The government has told the U.S. solar industry it will take steps to exclude certain components, including machines used to make solar panel components. The shift has been sought by some equipment makers who say the current tariffs undermine Biden’s goal depriving China of clean energy supply chains.

The 2024 presidential race looms over the flagship announcement: Biden is trying to get tough on China and differentiate himself from Donald Trump — whose original tariffs Biden will largely renew, but who is looking for widespread hikes that the current administration says are also going. far.

The Biden administration is “focused on sectors of longstanding concern,” said Greta Peisch, a partner at law firm Wiley Rein LLP, who until January was the chief trade attorney for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

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“These are calculated to address specific activities and risks and prevent escalation, to preserve the relationship with China that we have” beyond these important goods, she said.

The White House declined to comment on the tariffs. The quadrupling of car rates was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Biden will target key sectors including electric vehicles, batteries, solar cells, steel and aluminum, people say. He previously announced steel and aluminum tariffs, which will rise to 25% on some products currently subject to 7.5% tariffs or no tariffs. The EV tariff is intended to protect the US from a potential flood of Chinese cars that could upend the politically sensitive auto sector.

Trump’s 200%

The announcement marks the culmination of a review of tariffs first imposed by Trump, who mocked the announcement at a campaign rally in New Jersey on Saturday.

“He says he’s going to impose a 100% tariff on all Chinese electric vehicles. Isn’t that nice?” Trump said. “Biden should have done this four years ago.”

He warned that Chinese companies will try to build cars in Mexico and then avoid tariffs by shipping them to the US under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which Trump agreed to as president. Trump said he would impose a 200% tariff on Chinese-made cars in Mexico.

“I’m going to put a 200% tax on every car that comes out of these factories, and they’re not going to do that,” he said. Trump has also promised an across-the-board 60% tariff on all Chinese goods — a move Biden is far from stopping at, while allies say it would fuel inflation.

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Biden’s measures are aimed less at crushing market segments than at countering an expected surge in imports: Chinese steel, aluminum and cars make up a small part of US supply for now. The administration has warned that China is pushing to corner the market in key sectors and flood the US with subsidized goods to destabilize its rival and aid its own recovery.

Still, the bickering signals a bipartisan consensus — led by the two presumptive presidential candidates — on the threat that Chinese electric vehicles pose to the US.

Enthusiasm for the U.S. debut of Zeekr Intelligent Technology Holding Ltd., the high-end electric car brand under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., was not dampened by the U.S. debut, which rose 35% on Friday after an expanded initial public offering, which the largest U.S. listed company is a China-based company as of 2021. One of the executives downplayed the planned tariffs.

“We do not take short-term headwinds into account. We are thinking long term and trying to make sure we make a very, very good business case in the long term,” said Chief Financial Officer Jing Yuan. told Bloomberg Television on Friday. “It’s more about the long term than about short-term headwinds.”

The administration’s approach is consistent with its goal of focusing on China while nurturing the relationship, Peisch said.

“It’s about being strategic, not about an escalation across the board, but about what makes sense in response to China and support for affected US sectors,” she said.

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