Biden calls for tripling of Chinese steel and aluminum tariffs

Written by CRU

President Joe Biden is calling on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider increasing the existing section 301 import duty on Chinese steel and aluminum three-fold. The current average levy is 7.5%.

“American workers continue to face unfair competition from Chinese imports of steel and aluminum products, which are among the world’s most emissions-intensive,” his administration said in a supporting factsheet.

It also added: “Chinese policies and subsidies for their domestic steel and aluminum industries means high-quality US products are undercut by artificially low-priced Chinese alternatives produced with higher emissions.”

Furthermore, Lael Brainard, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal: “In manufacturing sectors like steel, China’s already producing more than China or the world can easily absorb…China’s subsidies and other forms of support lead to exports flooding global markets at artificially low prices, undercutting American steel.”

In this presidential election year, Biden is also directing trade officials to work with Mexico to jointly prevent China and other countries evading US steel and aluminum tariffs by importing via Mexico, arguing that is a growing challenge which must be addressed.

Mexico’s economy ministry has said it will prepare measures to strengthen definitions on steel being shipped into the country, while steel sector association Canacero has denied the so-called ‘triangulation’ is taking place.

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