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Biden Administration Increases Tariffs on Chinese Goods, Including Electric Vehicles, Batteries, and Solar Cells

Client Updates
On May 14, 2024, the Biden administration announced prospective new tariff rates on $18 billion of imports from China across strategic sectors of the economy, such as steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, ship-to-shore cranes, and medical products. The move, which was undertaken pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, comes amid increased tensions between the countries and is intended to counter what the White House considers unfair trade practices by China that it claims have put U.S. industries at a disadvantage.  

Following the U.S. Trade Representative’s (“USTR”) statutorily required four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs that were imposed under the Trump Administration, President Biden stated that further action needs to be taken to encourage China to eliminate its unfair trade practices regarding technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.  Specifically, President Biden directed that the current Section 301 tariffs on imports from China across the following sectors of the economy be increased:

All other existing Section 301 tariffs will remain in place at their current levels.

USTR will issue a Federal Register notice in the coming days announcing procedures for interested persons to comment on the proposed tariff increases.  This notice is also expected to provide information concerning an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing, in particular, exclusions for certain solar manufacturing equipment.

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