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Biden Slaps Tariffs on Chinese Goods as Polls Show Trump Taking Lead in Swing States


President Biden imposed sweeping tariff hikes on China Tuesday, targeting electric vehicles, semiconductors, and other goods in a step that's reigniting a critical trade debate during this election year.

Biden defended the new tariffs on Chinese products, saying that China's government handouts to its companies mean they don't have to turn a profit, giving them an unfair advantage in global trade. 
"For too long it hasn't been fair," Biden said in the Rose Garden signing. "For too long the Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese companies across a range of industries, and when you make tactics like this, it's not competing. It's cheating."

Biden slapped tariffs on a range of high-tech industries, from Chinese electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, medical equipment, and on raw materials like steel and aluminum manufacturing.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China "opposes unilateral tariff increases that violate WTO rules, and will take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests."

On CBN's Faith Nation, China expert Gordon Chang said tariffs don't necessarily mean higher prices for American consumers buying Chinese goods. 

"I think that there is a lot of exaggeration when people talk about the costs that are going to be imposed on American consumers," Chang said. "In 2008, China absorbed about four-fifths of the cost of the Trump tariffs. They did that through Chinese government policies and also private exporters absorbed costs. So I expect the same thing to happen this time."

The White House has targeted Chinese green technology, especially electric vehicles, when China is looking to undercut American car makers with cheaper products, as demand for EVs slows. 

Biden said, "Folks, look, I'm determined that the future of electric will be made in America by union workers. Period." 

Six years ago former President Trump slapped tariffs on over $350 billion worth of Chinese imports, mostly at a 25% rate.  Biden's tariffs cover only about $18 billion worth of imports, but at a much a higher rate, quadrupling electric vehicle tariffs to 100 percent, doubling the rate on semiconductors to 50 percent, and tripling tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

When he was running for president, Biden was a critic of Trump's tariffs, saying they were creating more pain for Americans. 

Tuesday, Trump called him out for waiting so long to confront China.

"Where have you been for three and a half years? You should have done it a long time ago," Trump said.

Now that he's running again, Biden is feeling the heat from unions and industries in key swing states suffering from unfair Chinese trade practices. A new poll shows Biden trailing Trump by 7 points in Michigan, home of the auto industry.

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