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Biden aims to triple tariffs on steel imports from China

Biden aims to triple tariffs on steel imports from China

United States President Joe Biden said in Pennsylvania that he intends to triple the tariff on steel imports from China because, according to him, American jobs are being unfairly sacrificed. It is a call to American workers, in a state that, as Voice of America correspondent Scott Stearns reports, has a central role in the presidential campaign.

President Biden told steel workers in Pennsylvania that he will protect their jobs from cheap Chinese imports.

“Prices are unfairly low because Chinese steel companies don't have to worry about making a profit because the Chinese government has massively subsidized them. They are not competing, they are deceiving. We're seeing the damage here in the United States," said President Joe Biden.

President Biden vowed not to accept unfair Chinese competition, calling Beijing "xenophobic."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian says the accusations of xenophobia are hypocritical as they come from a country that he says should lift safeguards against China.

"China is aware of these announcements. China would like to ask the question, 'Are you talking about China or about America itself?'" he said.

President Biden's measures against Chinese steel would be taken while his predecessor, Donald Trump, imposed tariffs on steel imports.

Mr. Trump's presidential campaign team told VOA in a statement that "President Biden's campaign is attacking President Trump's effective tariffs on China at a time when Biden and the White House are planning to implement similar tariffs." Mr. Biden's team is either being led by hypocrites or people who don't understand what they're doing."

One difference in the two candidates' approach is that Mr. Trump used tariffs to influence new trade deals, says expert Rachel Ziemba.

"They were using tariffs in part as a mechanism to redefine the terms of trade. Now, the tariffs are being used by President Biden's administration, targeting China but also using industrial policy and other incentives to try to boost American manufacturing, to encourage foreign and American companies to invest in the United States. United", says Rachel Ziemba from the Center for a New American Security.

Steel workers in Pennsylvania represent a significant portion of the electorate in a state that can sway the election outcome for either candidate.

Part of President Biden's campaign is also this election ad featuring metallurgist JoJo Burgess.

"Now we have the most supportive President towards the workers in the entire history of the country. Donald Trump worries about one man. For myself" .

Former President Trump called for unification during an auto worker protest last year, telling workers that the regulations the Biden administration is imposing are an attack on their jobs.

"The car manufacturing industry is disappearing and it doesn't matter what you get. It doesn't matter what you get in two, three or 5 weeks. The companies will be closed and these cars will be produced in China or other countries," said Mr. Trump.

An NBC News poll earlier this year showed that union voters favor President Biden over his predecessor Trump, but by a narrower margin than in the race between them in 2020./VOA

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