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US President Joe Biden imposes a series of tariffs on Chinese-made products. | Photo: @POTUS (X)

Biden cracks down on China and imposes major tariffs on electric vehicles and solar cells

In a bid to shield American workers and businesses from China's unfair trade practices, US President Joe Biden has announced a series of actions, including significant tariff increases on Chinese imports. These measures, outlined in a recent White House fact sheet, underscore the administration's commitment to leveling the playing field and safeguarding vital sectors such as electric vehicles, solar energy, batteries, steel, and more. 

These actions come in response to the United States' statutory 4-year review of the Section 301 Investigation of China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. "China is determined to dominate these industries. I am determined to ensure that America leads the world in them," Biden said via his X account.

In this scenario, steel and aluminum tariffs will rise to 25% by 2024, semiconductors to 50% by 2025, and electric vehicles to 100% in 2024. Additionally, lithium-ion EV batteries, battery parts, and critical minerals will face hikes to 25% by 2024 or 2026, while solar cells (whether or not assembled into modules) will see a rise to 50% in 2024.


Abigail Ross Hopper, former president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), lauded the Biden administration for its efforts to support the expansion of U.S. solar and storage manufacturing. While SEIA was still assessing the full impact of the announcement, Hopper noted that several decisions had positively affected American manufacturers by improving business conditions.

"The Administration was thoughtful to include a tariff exclusion process for key machinery that companies needed to manufacture solar components in the United States," said Hopper. She emphasized that a temporary tariff exclusion had effectively reduced production costs and incentivized increased investment in domestic manufacturing.

CP CEO Jason Grumet echoed support for the Biden Administration's decision on Section 301 tariffs related to lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. "Today's decision recognizes the value of battery energy storage and its importance to the reliability of our electric grid," stated Grumet. He highlighted how battery energy storage is lowering costs for American families and businesses as energy demand grows.

Moreover, Grumet emphasized the role of this emerging industry in building new manufacturing facilities and creating thousands of jobs across the United States. "Newly enacted tax credits for energy storage, along with U.S. Department of Energy programs supporting the ramp up of domestic manufacturing, will continue to be critical to America's energy dominance," concluded Grumet, underscoring the significance of ongoing initiatives to bolster the nation's energy infrastructure.


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