Biden Quadruples Tariffs On Chinese EVs

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 15, 2024
2024 Polestar 3

U.S. President Joe Biden recently announced dramatic increases in tariffs on a variety of different Chinese imports, including advanced batteries, semiconductors, solar cells, and electric vehicles. President Biden’s plans include keeping tariffs that were put in place by Donald Trump and substantially increasing others. This includes quadrupling the duties on Chinese electric vehicles to 100% and doubling duties on semiconductor tariffs to 50%, reports Reuters.

The decision to increase tariffs on Chinese imports affects roughly $18 billion in annual imported goods from the country, claims the White House. While quadrupling the tariffs on Chinese EVs to 100% (it’s currently at 25%), is certainly the headliner of President Biden’s new measure, it’s more of a political move.

According to Yahoo Finance, Buick, Lincoln, Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo ship vehicles that are made in China to the U.S. Polestar, though, is the only automaker out of the bunch to import Chinese-made EVs into the U.S. with the Polestar 2, Polestar 3, and Polestar 4. There are currently no EVs from Chinese brands on sale in the U.S., as reports indicated that they would enter the market by 2025. With a 100% tariff on Chinese-built EVs, we doubt Chinese brands will bring EVs to America anytime soon.

"American workers can out-work and out-compete anyone as long as the competition is fair, but for too long it hasn't been fair," Biden said during a speech in the White House Rose Garden before unions and companies, reports Reuters. "We're not going to let China flood our market."

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge

If Chinese-made EVs make up such a small portion of electric cars currently on sale in the U.S., why did President Biden quadruple tariffs on them? That’s a fair question and it looks like it’s a political move to shield the American auto industry from being overrun by cheaper EVs. Additionally, Consumer Reports claims that politicians accused the Chinese government of illegally subsidizing its auto industry, stealing intellectual property, and using forced labor to manufacture car parts. There are, reportedly, bipartisan efforts to flat-out ban the sale of Chinese-made vehicles in the U.S.

EVs from BYD, MG, Nio, Wuling, Zeekr, YangWang, and Xpeng are incredibly affordable, have stunning designs, and come with advanced tech features. If EVs from these brands were to come to the U.S., they could dramatically undercut the competition and spell doom for American automakers. So far, startups and new EVs have caused traditional automakers to slash prices and enter the EV segment. Increased demand from China would be a great thing for buyers, as it would force brands to lower prices and make their EVs better, but would be bad for American workers and brands.

President Biden’s increased tariffs on semiconductors, Chinese steel, lithium-ion batteries, and various automotive parts will certainly affect the auto industry and the way automakers gather their parts. Whether this translates to higher prices remains to be seen.

Pictured: 2024 Polestar 3 (Top), 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge (Middle)

Source: Yahoo Finance, Consumer Reports, Reuters

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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