Biden Pledges to Halt Japanese Acquisition of US Steel, Plans to Triple Tariffs on Some Chinese Imports

President Joe Biden has vowed to prevent US Steel from being acquired by a Japanese competitor, and he has threatened to triple tariffs on Chinese-made aluminum and steel imports if an investigation reveals that the Chinese government continues to engage in anticompetitive practices to bolster its state-subsidized industries.

Mr. Biden, who has described himself as the “most pro-union president in US history,” made the announcements in front of an enthusiastic crowd of union steelworkers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the home of the iconic American steel producer, which announced in March that it would be acquired by Japan’s Nippon Steel.

Biden Pledges to Halt Japanese Acquisition of US Steel, Plans to Triple Tariffs on Some Chinese Imports

He mentioned that he had announced his 2020 presidential candidacy nearly five years ago in Pittsburgh and that he was running to “rebuild the backbone” of the US middle class, which he described as having “a steel spine”.

“US Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century, and it should remain totally American,” the president added.

“American-owned and run by American union steelworkers—the greatest in the world. And that will happen, I assure you.”

The president also stated that he is considering raising tariffs on Chinese-made steel and aluminum, which were first levied by his predecessor, Donald Trump, pending the outcome of an inquiry being overseen by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“For far too long, the Chinese government has poured state funds into Chinese steel businesses, encouraging them to produce as much steel as possible while being subsidized by the government. Because Chinese steel businesses manufacture far more steel than China requires, they wind up dumping excess steel on global markets at unfairly low rates, he explained, adding that Chinese companies do not have to worry about profitability because they are state-subsidized.

“They’re not competing — they’re cheating,” he went on to say.

Mr. Biden also outlined how China’s steel dumping has harmed the economies of steel-making communities across Pennsylvania, promising that such practices will not be tolerated in the future.

“My US Trade Representative is probing the Chinese government’s trade practices in steel and aluminum. If that investment proves these anti-competitive trade practices, I’m asking her to consider increasing tariff rates on steel and aluminum imports from China,” he said.

Biden Pledges to Halt Japanese Acquisition of US Steel, Plans to Triple Tariffs on Some Chinese Imports

The president also stated that he and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are in negotiations to address China’s use of Mexico as a cut-out to escape the same tariffs.

“Mexico and the United States will work together to solve it. “I promise you,” he stated.

He also stated that he is prepared to take action, pending the results of a separate inquiry, to defend American shipbuilding from Chinese dumping activities.

“Taken together, these are strategic and targeted actions that are going to protect American workers and ensure fair competition,” he explained, before contrasting his actions with those of Mr Trump, who has vowed to impose an all-out tariff — an import tax paid by American consumers — on all Chinese-made goods.

“If they were successful, it is anticipated that the average American household would spend $1,500 per year on this. “Trump simply does not get it,” he explained.

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