Biden Looks to Thwart Surge of Chinese Imports

President Biden warns of a new boom in cheap Chinese products pose a threat To American factories. There is little sign of this happening in official trade data, which shows that Chinese steel imports are down sharply from a year ago, and that the gap between what the United States sells to China and what it buys is small. At post-pandemic lows.

But the president’s aides are looking beyond those numbers and focusing their attention on what they call troubling signals from China and Europe. This includes data showing China’s increasing desire to produce Expensive goods such as cars and heavy metals at a rate far exceeding domestic consumer demand.

China’s generous subsidies, including loans from state-run banks, have helped prop up businesses that would otherwise have collapsed in the faltering domestic economy. The result is, in many cases, a significant cost advantage over Chinese manufactured goods such as steel and electric cars.

The US solar industry is already struggling to compete with those Chinese exports. In Europe, the problem is much broader. Chinese exports are Washing the continentThis angered political and business leaders. They may soon pose a threat to some of the American companies that Biden has tried to prop up with federal grants and tax incentives, most of which come from his own money. Climate Act 2022American officials warn.

In an attempt to avoid a similar fate, Biden has promised new measures to protect steel mills, automakers and other American companies against what he calls trade “cheating” by Beijing.

European officials are struggling to cope with rising imports, an issue they focused on this week when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the continent for the first time in five years. In a meeting on Monday with Mr. Xi, French President Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, He urged Mr. Xi to address the matter The wave of subsidized exports flowing from his country’s factories to Western countries.

The frustration expressed by European officials reflects concerns that Biden and his aides have conveyed to Beijing: that it is deliberately using state support to seize market share in key industries and put foreign competitors out of business, as it has done in previous decades.

“These subsidized products – like electric cars or steel, for example – are flooding the European market,” von der Leyen said. “The world cannot absorb China’s surplus production.”

Europe has Began to impose customs duties on electric cars from China because of what officials there call evidence of illegal government subsidies.

The United States has extensive experience dealing with cheap Chinese products flooding its markets, including a wave of solar panels that has undermined efforts by the Obama administration to nurture the domestic solar industry. this time, Cheap solar panelCarbon dioxide is flowing back into the United States, causing some manufacturers to delay planned investments in America.

Other goods, such as electric cars, have been slower to arrive, partly due to tariffs and other barriers put in place by the US government.

However, Biden administration officials are closely monitoring Chinese production and price data and are moving to block or slow subsidized imports — especially in industries considered key to the president’s industrial plans, such as low-carbon energy technology.

Officials have complained publicly about what they call Chinese excess capacity, and in recent trips to Beijing by Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

Mr. Biden did Proposed higher tariffs Investigations have begun on Chinese steel and aluminum Chinese car technologies. His administration is reviewing a wave of tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Donald J. Trump. It is also considering increasing some of them for industries of strategic importance.

“Because Chinese steel companies produce much more steel than China needs, the extra steel ends up dumped on world markets at unfairly low prices,” Biden told steelworkers in Pittsburgh last month. Prices are unfairly low because Chinese steel companies don’t need to worry about making a profit, because the Chinese government subsidizes them heavily. They don’t compete. They cheat.”

Chinese officials reject these accusations. The administration’s claims “are not a market-driven conclusion, but a narrative crafted to manipulate perceptions and politicize trade,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian told reporters last week.

“The real goal is to hinder China’s high-quality development and deprive China of its legitimate right to development,” he said. “There is no ‘excess capacity in China’, but rather there is excess capacity in the United States due to anxiety caused by a lack of trust and slander against China.”

Biden officials have said in interviews that China’s subsidized exports are starting to hurt American manufacturers, including by putting some foreign suppliers of components for American-made products out of business. Yellen said in a speech last month that she warned officials there during a trip to China about “the negative repercussions that excess capacity could create for the global economy.”

Some current and former Biden administration officials say it will take a global effort to defeat China’s export strategy. This includes improving cooperation between the United States, Europe and other wealthy allies, which is expected to be high on the agenda of G7 leaders when they meet in Italy next month.

That effort should also include developing countries like Brazil and India, which have begun to push back against Beijing’s trade practices, said Brian Deese, former director of Biden’s National Economic Council and an architect of the president’s green industrial strategy.

“What we should do is build a broad international coalition to impose coordinated tariffs on Chinese industries where there is excess capacity,” Mr. Diess said.

Such an effort could be crucial to protecting American companies’ investments in areas such as next-generation advanced batteries for cars and energy storage, he said, by giving them room to breathe rather than artificially stifling cheap competition.

“I don’t think it’s certain that even as China increases, China dominates that market,” Mr. Diess said.

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