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Biden Says He'll Urge US Trade Representative To Consider Tripling Of Tariffs On Steel, Aluminium Imports From China

07:46 AM Apr 18, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
biden says he ll urge us trade representative to consider tripling of tariffs on steel  aluminium imports from china
Biden Says He'll Urge US Trade Representative To Consider Tripling Of Tariffs On Steel, Aluminium Imports From China

Washington, DC [US]: US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he would urge US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to consider tripling the tariff rates for steel and aluminium imports from China if the investigation into the Chinese government's trade practices confirms 'anti-competitive practices.'

During his address at the United Steelworkers Headquarters in Pittsburgh, Biden said, "Look, right now, my US Trade Representative is investigating trade practices by the Chinese government regarding steel and aluminium.

If that investigation confirms these anti-competitive trade practices, then I'm calling on her to consider tripling the tariff rates for both steel imports and aluminium imports from China."

He accused the Chinese government of funnelling state funds into Chinese steel companies and pushing them to increase steel production subsidised by the government. He described how Chinese steel companies were dumping surplus steel into global markets at low prices because they needed not to worry about profit.

"American steelworkers can outwork, outcompete as long as they have fair competition. But for too long, the Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese steel companies, pushing them to make so much steel, as much as possible subsidised by the Chinese government," Biden said.

"Because Chinese steel companies produce a lot more steel than China needs, it ends up dumping the extra steel into the global markets at unfairly low prices. And the prices are unfairly low because Chinese steel companies don't need to worry about making a profit, because the Chinese government is subsidising them so heavily. They're not competing. They're cheating. And we've seen the damage here in America," he added.

Reflecting on the impact of Chinese steel imports on American workers, Biden recalled the loss of over 14,000 jobs in steel towns across Pennsylvania and Ohio between 2000 and 2010. He vowed to prevent a recurrence of such losses.

Biden noted that Chinese steel and aluminium were being imported into the US through Mexico, which avoids the tariff. He announced that he has sent a delegation to Mexico to hold a meeting with AMLO, the Mexican president, to address this issue. He stated that Mexico and the US are going to work together to address the issue.

"My administration is also taking a real hard look at the Chinese government's industrial practices when it comes to global shipbuilding, which is critical to our economy. We depend on a fleet of commercial shipping vessels that carry American products around the world," he said.

"Shipbuilding is critical to our national security, including the strength of the United States Navy. That's why my administration takes it very seriously that US steelworkers, along with four other unions, have asked us to investigate whether the Chinese government is using anticompetitive practices to artificially lower prices in the shipbuilding industry," he added.

He stressed that the US government will take action if the Chinese government is using unfair tactics to undermine free and fair trade competition in the shipping industry.

"And if the Chinese government is doing that and the unfair tactics to undermine free and fair trade competition in the shipping industry, I will take action. That investigation is going on. Taken together, these are strategic and targeted actions that are going to protect American workers and ensure fair competition," he said.

Biden said that US Steel should remain totally American-owned and American-operated. He noted, "US Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century. And it should remain a totally American company--American owned, American operated, by American union steelworkers--the best in the world. And that's going to happen. I promise you."

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