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Biden plans to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports

Posted May. 16, 2024 08:25,   

Updated May. 16, 2024 08:25


The global economy is currently facing significant uncertainty ahead of the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November, as U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both advocate competing plans to impose tariffs on Chinese goods. The two leaders are trading accusations of flawed policies while promoting their approaches as having a competitive advantage over each other. China has signaled its intent to retaliate, heightening concerns for South Korea’s economy, which is heavily dependent on trade with the world's two largest economies.

On Tuesday, the Biden Administration formally announced a proposal to raise tariffs significantly on Chinese-manufactured electric vehicles (EVs), semiconductors, and batteries, potentially doubling or even quadrupling existing rates. The plan also includes a push to revise the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to prevent Chinese goods produced in Mexico from sidestepping regulations and entering the U.S. market.

"Investing state money into Chinese companies for years... that's not competition, it's cheating," President Biden declared in the White House Rose Garden, referring to Chinese government subsidies. He also criticized his predecessor, stating, "He's been feeding them for a long time." U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai hinted at potential changes to the USMCA, cautioning to "stay tuned" regarding Chinese EV companies using Mexico as a gateway to the U.S. market.

Former President Donald Trump responded by suggesting that Biden's tariffs should encompass a broader range of vehicles and products, asserting that "China's eating our lunch right now." Trump has consistently advocated for import tariffs exceeding 60% on Chinese goods and pledged to revoke Most Favored Nation status for Chinese imports if reelected.

China's state-run Global Times condemned the U.S. move to escalate tariffs on Chinese goods as "blatant bullying and hegemony." Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin pledged that China would "take necessary measures" to safeguard its interests in response to the U.S. actions.

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