Biden Implements Tariff Hikes on $18 Billion of Chinese Imports

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced a series of significant tariff increases on Chinese imports, including items like electric vehicles, computer chips, and medical products, in an effort to combat what the White House views as unfair trade practices from Beijing.

The move, maintaining tariffs from the previous Donald Trump administration while also imposing new ones, is aimed at safeguarding U.S. economic security and addressing concerns about Chinese goods flooding global markets at low prices. The impacted Chinese imports amount to $18 billion and encompass various goods such as steel, aluminum, semiconductors, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, and cranes.

The U.S. trade deficit with China, standing at $427 billion in imports from China compared to $148 billion in exports to the country in 2023, has long been a contentious issue in Washington. White House National Economic Adviser Lael Brainard accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices and flooding global markets with underpriced exports, emphasizing the need for action to protect American economic interests. While Biden’s tariff approach aligns with Trump’s stance on enforcing stringent trade measures, the Biden administration criticized the former president’s 2020 trade deal with China for failing to boost American exports or manufacturing jobs.

The White House expressed concerns that Trump’s proposed broad tariffs on goods from all origins could alienate U.S. allies and lead to price increases. However, the Biden administration asserts that its targeted tariff increases, coupled with domestic investments and cooperation with allies, will not worsen inflation or provoke significant retaliation from Beijing. Despite positive economic indicators like low unemployment and strong economic growth, Biden faces challenges in convincing voters of the effectiveness of his economic policies, as shown by a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll indicating former President Trump’s perceived advantage on economic matters.