HomeAttacks on U.S.Biden to Triple the Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum from China

Biden to Triple the Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum from China

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President Joe Biden has announced a significant increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China, proposing to raise the current 7.5% rate to an ambitious 25%. This move reflects the administration’s increasing concerns over China’s trade practices, particularly the subsidies that lead to an oversupply of clean energy products, such as solar panels and electric vehicles. These products, the U.S. argues, are being dumped on the global market at artificially low prices, distorting competition and potentially harming domestic industries.

Economic and Political Implications

This tariff hike comes at a critical time, as President Biden faces a difficult election year, balancing the need to address economic vulnerabilities with the geopolitical tensions involving China. The decision is seen by some as a baldly placating action to win over blue-collar voters in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, where Biden recently spoke at the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh. The move could resonate with union workers, who are pivotal in swinging election outcomes, especially in states that have historically swung between Democrats and Republicans.

Economically, while the tariffs aim to protect American jobs and the steel industry, they also risk unintended consequences, such as increased manufacturing costs and higher prices for consumers, i.e. INFLATION. However, a senior administration official has stated that these measures will not contribute to inflation but are necessary to safeguard American industrial interests against unfair competition.

ACZ experts have to ask. Really? This will not contribute to inflation???

Is It Just Politics?

Critics argue that Biden’s tariff strategy might primarily serve electoral interests, aimed at countering Republican narratives and appealing to a demographic that has shown waning support for Democratic economic policies. This argument is bolstered by the timing of the tariff announcement, aligning closely with campaign trails and public endorsements by significant unions.

Furthermore, the move can be seen as part of a broader effort to maintain a tough stance on China, mirroring strategies employed by former President Donald Trump. This approach might be intended to undercut Trump’s influence over the same voter base, as he has also advocated for aggressive trade barriers against China.

International Relations and Trade Dynamics

On the international stage, these tariffs are likely to strain the already tense relations between the U.S. and China. Despite ongoing efforts to stabilize diplomacy, such aggressive trade measures could hinder progress, potentially leading to retaliatory actions from Beijing. This, of course, could lead to spiraling tariffs and a shortage of critical goods in the United States. In the opinion of ACZ experts, China is much better at this game than the Biden Administration.

Time will tell if this is effective in a) protecting American industry, b) getting Joe Biden elected and c) teaching China a lesson about dumping. Frankly, we are skeptical and suspicious.

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