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A cross-party coalition of US legislators has requested the Biden administration to increase tariffs on vehicles imported from China.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the group, including Representative Mike Gallagher and Raja Krishnamoorthi, alongside Michigan Representatives Haley Stevens and John Moolenaar, pressed for raising the existing 25% levy. The letter said, “It is critical that tariffs on (Chinese) automobiles not only be maintained but also increased to stem the expected surge in (Chinese) imports.”
The legislators are also pushing for a new Section 301 probe to assess the impact of Chinese vehicles on the US automotive sector and its workforce and to evaluate the countermeasures against China’s ambitions to dominate the global automobile industry.
The automotive industry in the US has already expressed concern over the potential influence of Chinese companies. John Bozzella, the CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, indicated in June that upcoming US environmental laws might inadvertently strengthen China’s position in the electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Commission has begun an inquiry into possible punitive tariffs on Chinese EV imports to shield EU manufacturers.
This comes as the current tariff, introduced during Trump’s tenure and sustained under President Biden, faces scrutiny. There’s an additional concern about Chinese manufacturers exporting through Mexico to exploit the US market’s trade agreements.