Why is the US quadrupling tariffs on electric car imports from China?

In the midst of the US presidential election campaign, the Democratic candidate is dusting off and consolidating one of the issues that is very important to former White House resident Donald Trump: the trade war between China and the US. After several hours of rumors, Joe Biden voiced all doubts: Washington will increase tariffs worth $18 billion on imports of some Chinese products, including electric vehicles, batteries and semiconductors.

Report on the electric car industry

The hardest hit sector was the electric car industry, which is currently suffering from 25 percent tariffs. Now the White House wants to quadruple tariffs to 100 percent. Taxes on solar panels were doubled from 25 percent to 50 percent. Duty rates on some aluminum and steel imports will increase from the current 7.5 percent to 25 percent. Tariffs on lithium batteries for electric cars and other uses have more than tripled. There is also something new: Starting from 2025, taxes on semiconductors imported from China will increase from 25 percent to 50 percent. For the first time, customs duties will be imposed on port cranes as well as medical syringes and needles. Then higher duties for medical rubber gloves, respirators and masks.

The Biden administration confirms the pressure to preserve jobs in the United States due to the November elections, underlining that China’s leading electric car manufacturer BYD is currently selling its latest generation cars for up to $10,000.

But Washington’s pressure isn’t limited to electric cars. Because the US administration is afraid that the subsidies given by the Chinese government to the clean energy sector will help companies produce solar panels and electric cars in quantities above domestic demand and at very low costs. This means that these products are ready to be introduced to the world market, and it becomes almost impossible for companies in the sector to compete in other countries.

Beijing’s response

Beijing, on the other hand, calls Washington’s accusations “baseless”, accuses Washington of wanting to hinder global competition and expresses “strong dissatisfaction” with the upward revision of tariffs on some Chinese products. For China, the increase in tariffs violates American President Biden’s commitments to avoid slowing China’s economic development and risks “seriously endangering” the environment of cooperation between the two countries.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today that Beijing “consistently opposes increasing tariffs” that violate WTO rules. Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China would “take all necessary measures to protect its legitimate rights and interests.”

Trump: “I will impose a 200 percent tax on every Chinese car”

So President Biden is strengthening the tariffs imposed by Trump in 2018 in an effort to distance himself from his November opponent and show American voters, especially in the Rust Belt states, that he has the best plan to defend the American auto industry. Chinese competition. Therefore, the administration’s move must be interpreted not only from a trade policy perspective, but also from an electoral perspective; Biden needs to stand up to the former Republican president, who vowed to impose tariffs on electric cars from China when he returns from the White House. from third countries.

The former president and his advisers plan to impose higher tariffs on cars entering from Mexico if Mexico does not agree to stop sending Chinese-made electric cars to the United States, according to Trump campaign sources cited by Politico. “I’m going to put a 200 percent tax on every car that comes from their factories,” Trump said at a rally last Saturday, referring to Chinese auto factories in Mexico.

Italian government hopes for greater national protection

Meanwhile, the European Commission announced that it is ready to examine the new tariffs that the USA decided to apply to electric vehicle imports from China in terms of their possible effects on the Old Continent market. And the symptoms come quickly, even if the Italian government is not requested to do so.

If the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti, calls for a strategic turning point in the automotive sector that “must enter into the pillars of the European competitiveness policy, financed by new European fiscal capacity instruments beyond the Pnrr”, the Minister of Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, says that Brussels will “Europe and reiterated that it should protect national production from the phenomenon of unfair competition. “I believe that the next Parliament and the Commission will definitely have to resort to this path, acting in line with what the United States has done “to counter China’s hegemony,” Urso said.

Source: Today IT