Why Biden Is Taking a Hard Line on Chinese EVs

The Biden Administration has announced new tariffs on Tuesday for Chinese made electric vehicles, quadrupling the current tariff from 27.5% to 102.5%, as well as new tariffs on solar cells, steel, and aluminum. These tariffs are expected to raise $18 billion in imports from China.Currently, China exports very few electric vehicles to the U.S., so it is unlikely that the tariffs will have much of an impact in the short run. In the first quarter of 2024, only one Chinese car maker, Geely, exported EVs to the U.S. and it represented less than 1% of the market share. 

Nevertheless, the Biden Administration says that it worries that in the long run, China’s subsidies of its electric vehicle industry could lead it to claim a larger proportion of the market share. “When the global market is flooded by artificially cheap Chinese products, the viability of American and other foreign firms is put into question,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during a speech she gave while she visited Beijing in April. 

Since coming into office, President Joe Biden has left the tariffs Trump put in place on China intact, as part of a bid to encourage more American manufacturing. On a Monday call with reporters, Lael Brainard, director of the White House

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