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Biden Appeals to Steel Union with New China-Bashing Sanctions

April 18, 2024 (EIRNS)—President Joe Biden, campaigning with Pennsylvania steel unions on April 17, announced new tariffs on Chinese metal products. Reuters reported that Biden aides said he was proposing raising to 25% the tariffs imposed by Donald Trump on certain Chinese steel and aluminum products.

“China’s steel companies don’t need to worry about making a profit,” Biden said as he visited the headquarters of the United Steelworkers union. “They’re not competing, they’re cheating, and we’ve seen the damage here in America.”

The proposed higher tariff rate would apply to more than $1 billion worth of steel and aluminum products, a U.S. official said.

The Biden administration is also pressuring neighboring Mexico to prohibit China from selling its metal products to the United States indirectly from there.

At the same time, it is launching an investigation into Chinese trade practices across the shipbuilding, maritime, and logistics sectors, which could lead to more tariffs.

“No trade war,” Biden told reporters traveling with him. But Reuters added that Biden’s Trade Representative Katherine Tai had told Congress on April 17 that there was need for “decisive” action to protect electric vehicles from subsidized Chinese competition, and that the administration would also restore some solar technology tariffs.

Last week Biden shot down a proposed $14.9 billion bid by Japan’s Nippon Steel to buy U.S. Steel Corp. He doubled down on those remarks on April 17, telling steelworkers, “I promise you” that the company will remain in American hands.