US Trade Actions: Responding to China’s Trade Tactics

In the global marketplace, adherence to trade rules varies widely among nations. Recognizing the need for consistent trade standards, the United States is actively addressing challenges in trade relations, particularly those involving China, which have had a considerable impact on American industries and labor forces.

This discussion is not solely focused on tariffs and trade balances; it is fundamentally about protecting the long-term interests of American workers and fostering innovation within a competitive international market. At the core of this issue are strategic steps taken by U.S. President’s administration, which seeks to rectify and balance the dynamics of international trade.

The administration has implemented a series of policy measures intended to directly address and mitigate the effects of these trade issues. This blog will detail the actions undertaken by the U.S. government to promote fairness in trade practices, aiming to create a more balanced and predictable trading environment for all involved stakeholders.


USA vs China

Background and Motivation

China’s approach to trade, including taking ideas from American companies and flooding markets with cheap products, has made things tough for U.S. businesses. Let’s delve more  into this

  • What are China’s main unfair trade practices?

China is often accused of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and providing heavy subsidies to domestic companies, which distort global markets.

  • How has The American President responded to these practices?

The Biden administration has implemented increased tariffs and strengthened regulatory measures to protect American industries and promote fair trade practices.

  • Why is it important for the U.S. to address these issues?

Ensuring fair trade practices protects American jobs, fosters innovation, and maintains the competitiveness of U.S. businesses on a global scale.

  • What can American consumers and businesses expect as a result of these actions?

While these measures might lead to higher prices on some goods in the short term, they are expected to stabilize the market and promote domestic production, benefiting the U.S. economy in the long run.

China’s economic strategies have significantly impacted American industries, particularly in technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation sectors. Additionally, China’s approach to exporting goods at artificially low prices has distorted global markets, influencing everything from manufacturing to consumer prices.

As the global economic landscape continues to evolve, the Biden administration remains committed to safeguarding American economic interests and maintaining strong trade relationships. By addressing the challenges posed by China’s trade policies, the U.S. aims to promote a more balanced and equitable global trade environment.

Key Measures Implemented

President Biden has increased tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, affecting $18 billion worth of imports from China. This action aims to mitigate the negative impacts of unfair trade practices on American industries. Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Investing in America” agenda is propelling substantial business investments across various sectors.

  • What is the purpose of increasing tariffs on Chinese imports?

The increased tariffs are designed to protect American industries from unfair competition and to encourage fair trade practices.

  • How does the ‘Investing in America’ agenda support U.S. industries?

This agenda boosts U.S. industries by providing financial incentives and support, aiming to revitalize infrastructure and advance technological innovation within the country.

Strategic Investments and Policy Support

The administration’s strategic investments are supported by pivotal policies such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act. These policies are enhancing sectors like electric vehicles (EVs), clean energy, and semiconductors, contributing to job creation and economic growth.

  • How are the CHIPS and Science Act benefiting the U.S. economy?

By investing in semiconductor manufacturing and research, the CHIPS and Science Act is rebuilding a critical industry within the U.S., bolstering national security and creating high-tech jobs.

  • What impact does the Inflation Reduction Act have on clean energy?

The Inflation Reduction Act promotes clean energy through subsidies and tax incentives, which help reduce carbon emissions and foster energy independence.

By implementing these measures, the US administration is not only addressing immediate economic challenges but also laying the groundwork for sustainable growth and competitiveness in the global market.

Rationale Behind Targeted Tariffs

The US administration has strategically targeted specific sectors for tariffs, aiming to directly address areas most affected by unfair trade practices. This approach contrasts with the previous administration’s broader tariff application, which applied tariffs more generally across various industries without a focus on strategic sectors.

  • Why did President Biden choose a targeted approach for tariffs in May 2024?

The targeted approach allows the administration to focus on sectors most affected by China’s unfair practices, aiming to create more meaningful impacts in protecting American jobs and businesses.

  • How do Biden’s tariffs  in May 2024 differ from the previous administration’s?

Unlike the broader tariffs previously used, Biden’s targeted tariffs are specifically aimed at strategic sectors, which is intended to reduce unintended negative impacts on other areas of the economy.

Increased Tariffs on Key Sectors: A Closer Look

Steel and Aluminum

In 2024, the tariff rate for certain steel and aluminum products will increase significantly from 0-7.5% to 25%. This sector is crucial for the American economy, and recent investments aim to transform the U.S. into a leader in producing clean steel using clean hydrogen, enhancing its global competitiveness.


The tariff on semiconductors is set to rise from 25% to 50% by 2025, addressing China’s growing dominance in the legacy semiconductor market which threatens U.S. technological leadership.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

To combat China’s aggressive expansion and unfair trade practices in the EV sector, the tariff rate will skyrocket from 25% to 100% in 2024, protecting U.S. manufacturers and investments in this rapidly evolving industry.

Batteries and Critical Minerals

Tariffs on lithium-ion batteries for EVs will jump to 25% in 2024, and for other uses by 2026. Tariffs on other critical minerals and battery components are also set to increase, aiming to secure the U.S. supply chain against China’s market dominance.

Solar Cells

The tariff on solar cells will increase to 50% in 2024 to shield U.S. solar manufacturers from China’s low-priced exports driven by non-market practices, promoting domestic growth in renewable energy sectors.

Ship-to-Shore Cranes

Tariffs will increase to 25% in 2024, aimed at revitalizing the U.S. capability to produce vital port infrastructure, reducing dependency on foreign sources for critical equipment.

Medical Products

Significant tariff increases in 2024 will target medical supplies like syringes and needles (rising to 50%) and PPE such as masks and respirators (increasing to 25%), supporting the domestic production of essential healthcare products.

These tariff adjustments are part of a broader strategy to bolster American industry, secure economic sovereignty, and counteract China’s unfair practices. Each sector’s targeted tariff aims to protect and promote U.S. interests while encouraging fair global trade practices.

Global and Domestic Implications

These targeted tariffs are expected to reshape parts of the global supply chain, enhancing domestic manufacturing by encouraging companies to relocate production back to the U.S. Internationally, the administration is engaging with global partners to create a unified approach towards China’s trade practices, seeking to establish a fair trading environment on the global stage.

  • What impact are these tariffs expected to have on global supply chains?

The tariffs are expected to encourage companies to rethink and potentially restructure their supply chains, possibly leading to more manufacturing returning to the U.S.

  • How is the administration working with global partners regarding China?

The administration is actively seeking to build international coalitions to present a united front against unfair trade practices, fostering a more cooperative approach to global trade challenges.

U.S. Trade Representative further Sharpens China Tariff Strategy

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has outlined a decisive move following a comprehensive review of Section 301 tariffs, specifically targeting China’s practices related to technology transfer and intellectual property. Under President Biden’s directive, these adjustments aim to more effectively challenge China’s policies that are detrimental to U.S. commerce. The review considered the effectiveness and impacts of existing tariffs and proposed necessary modifications to enhance their efficacy. This strategic adjustment is part of broader efforts to protect American businesses and promote job creation, ensuring that all actions support the overarching goals of the Biden-Harris Administration to bolster economic security and counteract foreign technological threats.

Future Outlook

Long-term, these tariffs and policies are projected to solidify America’s manufacturing base and reduce dependency on foreign supply chains. However, they also pose challenges such as potential trade tensions and the need for industries to adapt to new regulations.

  • What long-term effects might these tariffs have on the U.S. economy?

Long-term, these tariffs could strengthen domestic industries and reduce reliance on foreign manufacturing, though they might also lead to trade tensions.

  • What challenges could arise from these trade measures?

Challenges could include retaliatory actions from trade partners, adjustments in global market dynamics, and the need for U.S. industries to adapt to new supply chain realities.


  • What are the key takeaways from President Biden’s trade actions in May 2024?

The key takeaways are a strategic approach to tariffs, reinforced alliances for addressing global trade issues, and a focused effort on enhancing American economic security.

The blog recaps the strategic implementation of tariffs designed to protect American industries and the broader implications for economic security and global trade dynamics. These actions underscore a significant shift towards safeguarding and revitalizing America’s economic interests.