Biden Takes Steps to Limit Clean Energy Tech Imports from China

President Biden announced last week that he was imposing new tariffs on electric vehicles and other Chinese products including EV batteries, solar cells, medical equipment, aluminum, and steel.

In a May 14 press release, the White House accused Beijing of using “unfair, non-market practices” that have prevented “fair competition.”

During a press briefing in the Rose Garden, the president accused Beijing of “cheating” by subsidizing Chinese companies using state funding.

The tariffs come as President Biden seeks to counter challenger Donald Trump’s tough-on-China trade proposals that play well in key battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

In a recent campaign rally in New Jersey, Trump vowed to place a 200 percent tariff on Chinese-made vehicles imported from Mexico.

While speaking in the Rose Garden last week, President Biden was asked by a reporter about Trump’s comment that China was eating America’s lunch. The president claimed that it was Trump who had been “feeding them a long time” and accused the former president of failing to address China’s trade abuses as he promised when he was in office.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt described Biden’s new tariffs as a weak attempt to distract from the president’s support for electric vehicles which she said would lead to the loss of American auto manufacturing jobs.

Beijing blasted the White House for the tariffs, which the Foreign Ministry described as “bullying.” China warned that the tariffs would “seriously affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

The White House set up the tariffs to avoid an immediate inflationary impact that could harm the president’s reelection chances, with most of the tariffs not taking effect until 2026.

Under the White House plan, the tariffs would be phased in over the next three years.

Currently, there are few Chinese-made electric vehicles in the United States. However, White House officials worry that the cheaper models fueled by Chinese subsidies could begin flooding the US market.