May 19, 2024

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Biden hits Chinese electric cars and solar cells with higher tariffs

Biden hits Chinese electric cars and solar cells with higher tariffs

At a press conference, White House officials denied that domestic politics influenced the decision.

They said Beijing has shown no sign of moving away from practices that hurt the United States, including rules that force Western companies to share information with the aim of stealing it and subsidies that put companies in a position to pump out products far in excess of expected demand.

“They are flooding the market,” Biden said. “It’s not a competition, it’s cheating.”

The White House said the tariffs were targeted and were not expected to stoke inflation, which contradicts Trump’s approach.

The former president, who once called himself the “Tariff Man,” campaigned on a proposed sweeping 10% tariff on foreign imports, which could jump to 60% on goods from China.

He also attacked Biden for promoting electric cars, a move he said would devastate American auto companies, major employers in states like Michigan that will be key election battlegrounds in November.

Erika York, chief economist at the Tax Foundation, said both candidates are “on the same path” of raising barriers to trade and looking inward “rather than looking at what we can do on the policy front that will make our sectors more competitive.” “. “.

She said the administration’s promotion of tariffs as a strategy was “a euphemism for protecting sectors that are politically important to this administration.”

“It’s about political economy calculations and not what makes the most economic sense or what is most affordable for consumers in the United States.”

The United States already imposes heavy tariffs on electric cars made in China, which has made sales of such cars very small.

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But Washington is cautiously monitoring the increase in sales of Chinese companies in Europe and other countries.

Ensuring that no single country dominates green technologies is critical to making the transition successful and sustainable in the long term, White House officials said.

Natasha Ibtihaj of Artemis Investment Management said that while moves targeting electric vehicles are likely to have little practical impact, the business world is waiting to see whether Europe will take similar steps.