US announces new tariffs on Chinese imports

Tax | | MIC Customs Solutions |

New tariffs on $18 billion of Chinese imports have been announced by the US government.

US president Joe Biden has unveiled a range of new tariffs on imports from China, including a 100 percent levy on electric vehicles (Evs) as well as additional duties on batteries, metals and semiconductors.

In total, the new measures will impact $18 billion worth of Chinese goods. The US government has stated the tariffs, which follow a four-year review, are intended to protect the country's manufacturing sector from cheap imports.

The White House said: "China’s unfair trade practices concerning technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are threatening American businesses and workers. China is also flooding global markets with artificially low-priced exports."

Among the new measures is an increase of import taxes on EVs from 25 percent to 100 percent. This matches a pledge by President Biden's rival Donald Trump, who has been a strong critic of the current administration's policies towards China and has promised a 100 percent tariff on every car imported from China if he wins this November's election.

Elsewhere, duties on some steel and aluminum products will increase from between zero and 7.5 percent to 25 percent, while tariffs on semiconductors will rise from 25 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

Lithium-ion batteries and related components will also see duties raised from 7.5 percent to 25 percent, as will other critical minerals. Solar cells will have import tax rates increased from 25 percent to 50 percent. Ship-to-shore cranes and some medical products, including syringes and personal protective equipment items, will also attract new levies.

The first of the new tariffs will start coming into force 90 days after Tuesday's (May 14th's) announcement, with the rest being phased in over the next two years.

The Chinese government has criticized the moves, with foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin saying: “China opposes the unilateral imposition of tariffs that violate [World Trade Organization] rules, and will take all necessary actions to protect its legitimate rights.”