Biden to announce new 100% tariffs on Chinese EVs

President Joe Biden is expected to announce new tariffs Tuesday on Chinese EVs, semiconductors, batteries, solar cells, steel and aluminum. The tariffs on EVs will rise to 100%, quadrupling the current tariff of 25%, according to a source familiar with the tariffs.

This is the latest bid by the Biden administration to keep China from undercutting U.S. companies and threatening U.S. manufacturing jobs. 

As far as the EV tariff goes, the move is largely symbolic, for now. Chinese EVs are not a big part of the EV market in the U.S., but China’s exports overall have been rapidly increasing, up 50% over the past two years. China is producing EV cars that cost a fraction of those made by American automakers, and they’re receiving glowing reviews. 

BYD, the world’s largest EV manufacturer rolled out a new car, the Seagull, which the Associated Press says “drives well and is put together with craftsmanship that rivals U.S.-made electric vehicles that cost three times as much.” It sells for around $12,000 in China, with a shorter-range version that’s under $10,000. 

The new tariff dramatically hiking Chinese EV prices could ease some pressure on automakers, and on the United Auto Workers, which endorsed Mr. Biden’s reelection bid in January, considerably later than in 2020. One of the sticking points was the president’s efforts to transition the economy to EVs, which the union feared would hurt workers. In accepting the endorsement, Mr. Biden promised not to leave U.S. auto workers behind.

“China is determined to dominate that market, with EV predominantly made in China and Chinese jobs,” he said. “The previous administration was content to sit on the sidelines and let China take all these jobs, but I won’t let that happen.”

He added that “companies transitioning to new technology should retool, reboot, and rehire in the same factories in the same communities with comparable wages, and existing union workers should have the first shot at those jobs.”

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