Biden to Call for Tripling Tariffs on Chinese Steel Products

President Biden on Wednesday will call on his trade representative to more than triple some tariffs on steel and aluminum products from China, as part of a series of moves meant to help cushion American manufacturers from a surge of low-cost imports.

Speaking to the United Steelworkers Union in Pittsburgh, Mr. Biden will ask the U.S. trade representative, Katherine Tai, to increase tariffs to 25 percent on certain Chinese products that currently face tariffs of 7.5 percent — or no tariffs at all — U.S. officials said.

Mr. Biden will also announce a new trade representative investigation into China’s aggressive support for shipbuilders and other related industries, in response to a union complaint. And he will announce new initiatives to work with Mexican officials to block China from evading American steel tariffs by routing its exports through Mexico.

The moves represent an escalating effort by Mr. Biden and his aides to stop a flood of low-cost Chinese exports from undermining made-in-America products — and jeopardizing a central focus of Mr. Biden’s economic agenda.

Those exports, which often enjoy heavy subsidies from Beijing and low-cost labor, propelled the Chinese economy to higher-than-expected growth in the opening months of the year. But they have raised alarms in the United States and other nations that trade heavily with China, with leaders of those countries accusing Chinese officials of flouting international trade law and disrupting their own domestic manufacturing.

“China is simply too big to play by its own rules,” Lael Brainard, who heads Mr. Biden’s National Economic Council, told reporters.

Back to top button