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Biden Urges Consideration of Tariff Increase on Chinese Steel and Aluminum

Biden Calls for US to Weigh Tariff Hike on China-Made Steel, Aluminum

President Biden has intensified efforts to address what he perceives as unfair trade practices by China, particularly in the steel and aluminum sectors. He has tasked U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai with exploring the possibility of significantly increasing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China, potentially tripling current rates. This move comes amid ongoing investigations into Chinese trade practices related to steel and aluminum exports.

During a speech at the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh, President Biden highlighted China’s alleged dumping of excess steel into global markets at unfairly low prices, which he contends harms American steel producers. This stance has garnered praise from various U.S. steel groups, who view it as a positive step towards protecting domestic industries from unfair competition.

In addition to focusing on China, President Biden aims to address challenges related to evading U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico. The White House plans to collaborate with Mexican officials to counter these practices, which it perceives as a growing challenge to U.S. trade interests.


Biden (Credits: NBC News)

Furthermore, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office has launched investigations into alleged unfair trade practices by China in the shipbuilding, maritime, and logistics sectors following requests from labor unions. President Biden underscored the significant job losses experienced by steelworkers in Pennsylvania and Ohio between 2000 and 2010, emphasizing the need to protect American workers from detrimental trade practices.

In a notable stance, President Biden reiterated his opposition to Japan-based Nippon Steel’s acquisition of U.S. Steel, advocating for U.S. Steel to remain under American ownership and operation. This stance has generated responses from Nippon Steel, which argues that its partnership with U.S. Steel is crucial for maintaining the latter as an American company.

Biden’s speech, delivered in a campaign-like setting, drew implicit contrasts between his trade policies and those of former President Trump and the Republican Party. He emphasized the need for targeted measures rather than broad tariffs on all imports, asserting that indiscriminate tariffs could adversely impact American consumers. Labor unions, including the United Steelworkers, have expressed support for Biden’s approach, lauding his efforts to ensure fair trade practices and protect American workers’ interests.

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