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U.S. To Increase Tariffs on China Imports

On May 14, 2024, President Biden directed his Trade Representative to increase tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion worth of imports from China. This action is intended to safeguard American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices by China.

The White House issued the following statement on May 14th:

“After thorough review of the statutory report on Section 301 tariffs, and having considered my advice, President Biden is directing me to take further action to encourage the elimination of the People’s Republic of China’s unfair technology transfer-related policies and practices that continue to burden U.S. commerce and harm American workers and businesses…In light of President Biden’s direction, I will be proposing modifications to the China tariffs under Section 301 to confront the PRC’s unfair policies and practices.”

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai

Proposed Tariff Increases

The proposed tariff increases are substantial and targeted at key sectors:

  1. Steel and Aluminum Products: Tariffs will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year.
  2. Battery Parts: Tariffs will rise from 7.5% to 25% this year.
  3. Lithium-Ion EV Batteries: Tariffs will increase from 7.5% to 25% this year.
  4. Lithium-Ion Non-EV Batteries: Tariffs will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.
  5. Critical Minerals: Tariffs will increase from zero to 25% this year.
  6. Solar Cells: Tariffs will increase from 25% to 50% this year.
  7. Syringes and Needles: Tariffs will go from zero to 50% this year.
  8. Personal Protective Equipment: Certain respirators and masks will see tariffs increase from 0–7.5% to 25% this year.
  9. Semiconductors: Tariffs will increase from 25% to 50% by 2025.
  10. Natural Graphite and Permanent Magnets: Tariffs will increase from zero to 25% in 2026.
  11. Rubber Medical and Surgical Gloves: Tariffs will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.

Next Steps and Public Involvement

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that a Federal Register notice will be issued next week. This notice will outline the procedures for interested persons to comment on the proposed modifications and provide information concerning an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing.

These tariff adjustments are part of a broader strategy to address China’s trade practices and to support the resilience and competitiveness of American industries.

For further information, please contact Brian Rowe, Director of Customs Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.


June 2024

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