The Biden Administration has increased import tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles from 25% to 100%, citing “unfair, non-market practices,” Kallanish reports.

The review impacts $18 billion of imports from China, with increases also covering lithium-ion batteries, natural graphite, semiconductors and steel.

The measure intends to address “China’s unfair trade practices concerning technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation,” which the White House says “are threatening American businesses and workers.”

China is “flooding global markets with artificially low-priced exports,” it adds in a statement.

After a two-year review, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai recommended keeping existing tariffs and increasing or applying others in sectors deemed strategic under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

The rates on lithium-ion EV batteries and battery parts will both rise from 7.5% to 25% in 2024, while on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.

Tariffs of 25% will be applied to natural graphite and permanent magnets from 2026, from 0% previously. Similarly, “certain other critical minerals” will be subject to a 25% tariff from 2024.

Duties on semiconductors imports will double to 50% by 2025. Other products subject to higher rates are solar cells.

Commenting on the matter, Chinese embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu says “the US has been hyping up the so-called ‘overcapacity’ in China’s new energy sector and vowing to impose additional tariff hikes on Chinese electrical vehicles and solar products, despite its professed willingness to seek climate cooperation with China.” 

“This is self-defeating. It goes against the consensus reached in San Francisco on joint climate response, and more importantly, it will harm the world’s green economic transition and climate action,” he says. “We urge the US to create enabling conditions for China-US climate cooperation and global green transition.”