Biden Sharply Raises Tariffs On Chinese EVs And Semiconductors To Protect US Jobs

President Joe Biden seems to be tacitly admitting that former President Donald Trump right as his administration is set to significantly increase tariffs on Chinese imports, including electric vehicles (EVs), solar cells, stee,l aluminum and semiconductors in a pre-election effort to safeguard American jobs.

The White House announced that $18 billion of Chinese goods would be affected by the tariff hikes which were “carefully targeted at strategic sectors” and aimed at giving U.S. companies time to catch up with Chinese competitors in green technology.

Under the new measures the U.S. will quadruple the tariff on Chinese EVs to 100% this year triple the rate on imports of steel and aluminum double the tariff on Chinese chips from 2025 and double the tariff on solar cells to 50% this year. The tariff on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries will also be more than tripled to 25% this year.

Biden accused China of engaging in “cheating” through unfair trade practices including for EVs and cyber espionage. “Whether it’s gas electric or hybrid we’re never going to allow China to unfairly control the market for these cars — period,” he said.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Biden for acting too slowly and not going far enough. “Where have they been for three-and-a-half years? They should have done it a long time ago,” Trump said.

China’s foreign ministry opposed the unilateral tariff increases saying they violate World Trade Organization rules and vowed to take necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests. The tariff hikes come as Biden seeks to shore up votes among union workers ahead of the November election.