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US to raise tariffs on $18B of China imports including chips

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The United States is hiking tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, targeting strategic sectors like electric vehicles, batteries, steel and critical minerals, the White House said Tuesday.

The decision — which drew a fiery response from Beijing — comes as President Joe Biden gears up for a re-run of his 2020 contest with Republican rival Donald Trump in November’s election, with officials criticizing Trump’s record on trade as they made the announcement.

The tariff rate on EVs is set to quadruple to 100% this year while the tariff for semiconductors will surge from 25% to 50% by next year, the White House said.
The action is aimed at encouraging China to “eliminate its unfair trade practices regarding technology transfer, intellectual property and
innovation,” it added.

This follows a review of tariffs imposed during a trade war between Washington and Beijing, during which then-president Trump introduced levies on some $300 billion in goods from China.

China’s commerce ministry warned that the new tariffs would “severely affect the atmosphere for bilateral cooperation,” urging Washington to cancel the measures.
Calling this a politicization of economic issues, Beijing added that it “resolutely opposes” the actions.

The so-called Section 301 investigation was the primary tool the Trump administration used to justify tariffs, and the US Trade Representative is required to look into the impact of the levies after four years.
Tuesday’s actions were also taken under Section 301 of the Trade Act.

Beyond EVs and semiconductors, Washington is roughly tripling tariffs on some steel and aluminum products, and on lithium-ion EV batteries and battery parts.

The tariff rate on natural graphite and some other critical minerals will surge from zero to 25 percent, and that on solar cells doubles to 50 percent.

But some tariff hikes, such as on non-EV lithium-ion batteries, take effect later to allow for a transitional period as the country builds up its domestic battery production, a senior US official said on condition of anonymity.

Beijing’s foreign ministry said it “opposes unilateral tariff hikes in violation of WTO rules” when asked about reports of the new measures.

China “will take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests”, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

Source: Vnexpress

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