Biden adds tariffs on Chinese critical minerals, EVs

A step Biden previously announced to raise tariffs on some steel and aluminum products will take effect this year, the White House said. The changes are projected to affect around $18 billion in current annual imports.

“China’s unfair trade practices concerning technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are threatening American businesses and workers,” the White House said in a statement.

“China’s forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft have contributed to its control of 70, 80, and even 90% of global production for the critical inputs necessary for our technologies, infrastructure, energy, and healthcare—creating unacceptable risks to America’s supply chains and economic security.”

The tariff rate on lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024, while the tariff rate on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate on battery parts will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024.

The tariff rate on natural graphite and permanent magnets will increase from zero to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate for certain other critical minerals will increase from zero to 25% in 2024.

China “resolutely opposes” the US president’s decision to raise tariffs on Chinese imports and sees the move as “political manipulation,” according to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, which urged the Biden administration to cancel the increased duties and correct what it called “wrongdoing.”

Former US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the Biden administration’s new tariffs should be applied to other types of vehicles and products “because China’s eating our lunch right now.”

The United States imported $427 billion in goods from China in 2023 and exported $148 billion to the world’s No. 2 economy, according to the US Census Bureau.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)

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