Biden calls on trade rep to consider tripling tariffs on Chinese steel

As President Biden heads to Pittsburgh to speak at United Steelworkers headquarters, the White House on Wednesday rolled out a series of measures aimed at protecting the U.S. steel industry from Chinese exports flooding the market.

“President Biden is committed to the importance of America’s steel building our country and our steel mills providing stable, good-paying jobs for America’s middle class,” National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said in a call with reporters. I understand that I have contributed.”

Brainard said Biden’s strategy to protect U.S. steel production is “strategic, balanced, and targeted,” and that unions, industry stakeholders, and even China’s “overcapacity It was developed in collaboration with international allies who are feeling the impact of “artificial low prices on capacity.” export. ”

Mr. Biden has asked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to consider tripling tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China from the current Section 301 rate of 7.5%. Decisions on whether to increase tariffs will depend on the results of the ongoing review. By USTR Office.

Administration officials downplayed concerns that higher tariffs could lead to higher inflation, noting that prices have fallen significantly from their peak and arguing that steel tariffs would protect American jobs.

Additionally, USTR has begun an investigation into China’s trade practices in the shipbuilding, maritime, and logistics sectors. The White House said the action was based on a complaint filed by the United Steelworkers and four other unions that claimed China’s steel industry was built on non-market policies.

The Commerce Department also plans to take action against countries that flood the market with cheap steel, based on about two dozen Commerce Department investigations into anticompetitive conduct by Chinese exporters.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration seeks to counter China’s steel exports, which have hit the market as Beijing seeks to accelerate its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Experts are concerned that the area is times newspaper report China’s steel exports are at an eight-year high, increasing by about 32% in the first two months of 2024, the company said.

Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh will highlight his support for union members and his administration’s investment in manufacturing jobs, which have rebounded significantly after the coronavirus pandemic.

The president is also expected to reiterate his support for U.S. Steel in the face of Japan’s planned sale to Nippon Steel. Biden said last month that it is “essential” that the company remains domestically owned.

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