Biden pushes to triple tariffs on Chinese steel, aluminum


Meanwhile, the USTR investigation into shipbuilding and other sectors comes after a petition last month by unions including the United Steelworkers.

They urged for action to address “unreasonable and discriminatory” policies and practices used by Beijing to dominate these industries.

Biden won the backing last month of the United Steelworkers union and has opposed a bid by Japan’s Nippon Steel to take over the Pittsburgh-based US Steel.

The White House said on Wednesday that Biden would continue making clear that it is “vital” for US Steel to remain an American company that is domestically owned and operated.

Biden’s National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard said the president understands American steel “built our nation” with steel mills helping to grow the US middle class in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

While there is a need to invest in US manufacturing, she said officials also considered it necessary to “protect those investments and workers from unfair exports associated with China’s industrial overcapacity”.

In a trip to China this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US “will not accept” a situation where underpriced Chinese goods flood the global market, battering industries elsewhere.

She raised the issue of excess capacity with Chinese counterparts as well.

But Liu Pengyu, spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, earlier defended the uptick in exports, including electric vehicles, as “the result of international division of labor and market demand”.

The White House, however, maintained that the Biden administration “recognises growing concerns that unfair Chinese trade practices, including flooding the market with below-market-cost steel, are distorting the global shipbuilding market and eroding competition”.

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