Biden Calls For Tripling Tariffs On Chinese Steel Ahead Of Speech In Swing State Of Pennsylvania

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 - 11:20 AM

The White House announced on Wednesday morning that President Biden will call for tripling tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum in a speech later today to steelworkers in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state.

Biden is set to speak with United Steelworkers union members in Pittsburgh. This is part of a multi-day campaign across the swing state to convince unions and residents about more years of failed 'Bidenomics.' While Biden campaigns, New York Judge Juan Merchan warned former President Trump he would be arrested if he skipped the trial in his hush-money case in Manhattan. 

"President Biden knows that steel is the backbone of the American economy, and a bedrock of our national security. American steel fueled the country's industrialization and helped build the middle class," the White House wrote in a press release.

The Financial Times said Biden will ask trade representative Katherine Tai to triple the import tariff on Chinese steel and aluminum from the current 7.5%. 

"It is important for us to get ahead of China's new export surge and their continued pressure on prices that make it hard for American steel companies to compete," a senior US official told FT, who added that the actions had "nothing to do with elections."

Anyone with common sense can see these actions were entirely related to elections in the key battleground state. 

FT continues: 

Tai is nearing completion of a statutory review of the tariffs that former president Donald Trump levied in his trade war against China.

She is also set on Wednesday to unveil a probe into unfair practices in the Chinese shipbuilding industry, following a petition from United Steelworkers.

White House National Economic Adviser Lael Brainard told reporters, "China's policy-driven overcapacity poses a serious risk to the future of the American steel and aluminum industry," adding, "Beijing is simply too big to play by its own rules." 

Meanwhile, a senior administration official told NBC News, "If taken, these actions will not increase inflation ... and it will protect American jobs and the steel industry."

Basic economics says that higher tariffs can spark inflation and drive a negative supply shock, raising the prices of inputs to production and thus increasing output prices. 

Revisiting the Biden's Inflation Reduction Act... Has it brought inflation back to Fed Powell's comfort zone of sub-2 %? The answer is no. Inflation is reaccelerating

The Pittsburgh announcement is nothing more than a political stunt as Biden attempts to win Pennsylvania and New York courts have tied Trump's hands so that he can't campaign in the swing state for now.