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Biden-⁠Harris Administration Calls to Triple Chinese Steel Tariff, Investigate China’s Shipbuilding Practices

tariffs ahead - blog

The Biden-Harris Administration recently called to triple the tariff rate on steel and aluminum imports from China and announced that a U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will investigate China’s unfair shipbuilding practices to support American steel manufacturing and shipbuilding.

American workers in the steel and aluminum industries face a significant challenge from Chinese exports of steel and aluminum, which are among the most emissions-intensive products in the world. China’s overcapacity and non-market investments in the steel and aluminum industries mean high-quality U.S. products have to compete with artificially low-priced alternatives produced with higher carbon emissions.

The Biden-Harris Administration recognized 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. These concerns were outlined in a petition to the USTR from five labor unions requesting an investigation into Chinese acts, policies, and practices in the maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding sectors.

Tripling Chinese Steel and Aluminum Tariff

U.S. President Joe Biden is calling on the USTR to consider tripling the existing 301 tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum. The current average tariff on certain steel and aluminum products is 7.5% under Section 301. American workers continue to face unfair competition from Chinese imports of steel and aluminum products, which are among the world’s most emissions-intensive.

Chinese policies and subsidies for their domestic steel and aluminum industries means high-quality U.S. products are undercut by artificially low-priced Chinese alternatives produced with higher emissions. To the extent consistent with the USTR’s review of Section 301 tariffs and findings of her investigation, Biden is calling for USTR to consider enhancing the effectiveness of tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products by tripling them.

Investigating China’s Shipbuilding Practices

The USTR is initiating an investigation into China’s unfair trade practices in shipbuilding, maritime, and logistics sectors. This investigation follows a petition filed by the United Steelworkers (USW) and four other unions who claim the Government of China’s drive to dominate the global shipbuilding, maritime, and logistics sector is built on non-market policies that are far more aggressive and interventionist than any other country.

Read the full White House news release here.



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