Democratic Governor Calls Biden’s New China Tariffs a ‘Tax Increase’ That ‘Will Hit Every Family’

The increases mark a sharp reversal for the president as he takes a Trump-like approach towards China heading into the November election.

Chinatopix Via AP
A worker assembles an SUV at a car plant of Li Auto, a major Chinese EV maker, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Chinatopix Via AP

A Democratic governor is ripping into President Biden after an announcement Tuesday that the president will impose steep tariff increases on Chinese goods including steel, semiconductors, and solar panels.  

“This is horrible news for American consumers and a major setback for clean energy,” Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, said in response to Mr. Biden’s tariff increases. “Tariffs are a direct, regressive tax on Americans and this tax increase will hit every family.”

Mr. Polis also retweeted criticism from the Center for New Liberalism, which called the tariffs “a tax that is incompatible with Democrat’s commitment to reducing costs for every-day Americans.”

“We hope that all the groups criticizing Trump’s tariff agenda will also critique their President today,” the group wrote on X.

The so-called “tax increase” comes as Mr. Biden has promised throughout his campaign and his time in office not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000 a year.

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden announced he will not only keep his predecessor’s tariffs on Chinese goods but also increase them, marking a sharp reversal for the president as he seeks to take a Trump-like approach towards China heading into the November election. Mr. Biden had previously criticized President Trump’s tariffs, saying the 45th president didn’t understand basic economics. 

“He thinks his tariffs are being paid by China. Any freshman econ student could tell you that the American people are paying his tariffs,” Mr. Biden wrote on X in 2019. “The cashiers at Target see what’s going on — they know more about economics than Trump.” 

Arguing that China’s government has “used unfair, non-market practices” for too long — including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers — Mr. Biden said that China has created “unacceptable risks to America’s supply chains and economic security,” but he was critical of the Trump administration’s approach.

“The previous administration’s trade deal with China failed to increase American exports or boost American manufacturing as it had promised,” a White House statement said, adding that the trade deficit with China is the lowest in ten years. The tariff increases —  25 percent on steel and aluminum, 50 percent on semiconductors, 50 percent on solar panels, and 100 percent on electric vehicles — will affect $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, the White House said

Mr. Biden’s announcement is already sparking retaliation threats from China. 

“The increase in … tariffs by the United States contradicts President Joe Biden’s commitment to ‘not seek to suppress and contain China’s development’ and ‘not to seek to decouple and break links with China,’” China’s Commerce Ministry said, CNN reports. “This action will seriously impact the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

The tariffs are also facing criticism from the retail industry, as groups call for a new strategy to encourage companies to shift supply chains away from China on their own.“As consumers continue to battle inflation, the last thing the administration should be doing is placing additional taxes on imported products that will be paid by U.S. importers and eventually U.S. consumers,” a National Retail Federation vice president, David French, said in a statement.

The New York Sun

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