US Says Tariffs on Chinese EVs & Components to Start Aug. 1

May 22 (Reuters) – Some of the steep U.S. tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports, including electric vehicles and their batteries, computer chips and medical products, will take effect on Aug. 1, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden will keep tariffs put in place by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump while ratcheting up others, including a quadrupling of import duties on Chinese EVs to over 100% and a doubling of semiconductor duties to 50%.

USTR said in a federal notice, opens new tab that a 30-day public comment period will close June 28. The trade agency is seeking comments on the effects of the proposed tariff increase on the U.S. economy, including consumers, and on whether a proposed 25% duty on medical facemasks, gloves and syringes should be higher.

The notice also provides specific tariff codes for some 387 product categories affected along with new duty rates and implementation dates. Tariffs targeted to start in 2025 and 2026 will start on Jan. 1 for those years, USTR said.

The proposed Chinese tariff increases include “products targeted by China for dominance, or are products in sectors where the United States has recently made significant investments.”

Washington is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in clean energy tax subsidies to develop U.S. EV, solar and other new industries, and has said China’s state-driven excess production capacity in these sectors threatens the viability of U.S. firms. The tariffs are meant to protect U.S. jobs from a feared flood of cheap Chinese imports.

The new measures affect $18 billion in current imported Chinese goods including steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, critical minerals, solar cells and cranes, the White House said. The EV figure may have more political than practical impact in the U.S., which imports few Chinese EVs because of prior vehicle tariffs.

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