Biden Hikes Tariffs on Chinese EVs to Protect US Clean Energy

U.S. to Announce New Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles

U.S. Set to Impose New Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles

The Biden administration is gearing up to announce new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles and other goods, possibly as early as next week, sources reveal. The move is part of President Biden’s strategy to protect America’s budding clean energy sector from the influx of inexpensive Chinese imports.

Preserving Domestic Manufacturing

There is growing concern within the administration that Biden’s efforts to boost domestic manufacturing of clean energy products may be undermined by China. For example, China has been saturating global markets with affordably priced solar panels, batteries, electric vehicles, and other goods. Therefore, the administration is taking action to secure the domestic industry.

Review of Previous Tariffs

The impending tariffs are the aftermath of a four-year review of the levies that ex-President Donald J. Trump enforced on over $300 billion of Chinese imports back in 2018. It’s expected that most of the Trump tariffs will remain intact, however, Biden intends to increase levies in sectors that received subsidies under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

Increasing Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles

One significant area of focus is Chinese electric vehicles, which currently attract a 25% tariff. The administration is deliberating on raising this to a much steeper rate, making it prohibitively expensive to purchase a Chinese EV. Tariffs as high as 100% have been considered, according to an inside source.

Biden’s Stance on Chinese Electric Vehicles

Earlier this year, Biden took measures to bar internet-connected Chinese cars and trucks, including electric vehicles, from the American auto market. He cited national security risks, as their operating systems could potentially relay sensitive data to Beijing. This move is part of a broader strategy to escalate pressure on China and demonstrate the administration’s commitment to safeguarding American manufacturing.

Trade Tensions with China

The fate of these China tariffs has been hotly debated within the White House since Biden assumed office. Economic and political advisors have often disagreed on the best course of action. However, China’s decision to increase production of electric vehicles, lithium batteries, and solar panels—products the Biden administration has invested significantly in domestically—has reignited trade tensions, compelling Biden to proceed with tougher trade restrictions.

Trump’s Approach to China

Former President Trump has also threatened to escalate his trade war with China if re-elected, suggesting tariffs of 60% or more on Chinese imports.

Uncertainty Surrounds Scale of Tariffs

The exact scale of the Biden administration’s tariffs, which are expected to affect Chinese electric vehicles, batteries, and solar products, remains unclear. The outcome of the review, conducted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, was initially reported by Bloomberg News.

As global political dynamics continue to evolve, ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping the future of the global clean energy sector. Only time will reveal the full impacts of these proposed tariffs on both domestic and international markets.