Biden and Trump Spar Over Tariffs

( – President Joe Biden and his Republican challenger Donald Trump are each looking to sway Midwestern voters by attempting to out-do each other on their plans to protect American autoworkers from Chinese imports.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles and other green energy products like batteries and solar cells, as well as Chinese aluminum, steel, and medical equipment.

Trump, who instituted tariffs on China in 2018, is now looking to go further, including proposing tariffs on electric vehicles imported from Mexico if the country refuses to halt the export of Chinese-made vehicles into the US.

In a campaign rally in New Jersey over the weekend, Trump vowed to impose a 200 percent tariff on every car imported from Mexico.

Meanwhile, Beijing wasted no time responding to the new tariffs imposed by the Biden administration.

In a statement on Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry accused the administration of “bullying” and warned that the tariffs would “seriously affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

Administration officials insisted that while the tariffs would not increase tensions with China, the administration expected Beijing to look for ways to respond.

Advisors close to former President Trump, including his former trade chief Robert Lighthizer, have been formulating a plan to impose tariffs on cars imported from Mexico if Trump wins in November.

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who is working on legislation to impose 100 percent tariffs on car imports from Mexico, said he had discussed the issue with Trump and both the former president and Robert Lighthizer have been clear about their views.

The tariffs Trump and his advisors are considering would either be limited to Chinese-made vehicles that are imported from Mexico or could include all imports from the country, according to sources close to Trump.

Midwestern Democrats, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown who is up for reelection in November, have been pushing President Biden to follow Trump’s lead and propose tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles from Mexico.

Senator Brown said in a post on X that imposing tariffs on China was not enough. He called on the administration to “ban Chinese EVs from the US. Period.”

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