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Trump, when President, imposed tariffs on $300 bln of Chinese products, roughly two-thirds of Chinese imports. Biden left them in place and just recently added tariffs under section 301 of a 1974 trade law on the sectors and products listed (chart below). Biden’s tariffs are more strategic than blanketed. He uses a rifle while his predecessor uses a double-barreled shotgun.   Biden tariffs are more symbolic, currently amounting to another $18 bln, based on 2023 imports, but are different from the tariffs imposed by Trump as they are pre-emptive. China currently imports just $400 mln in vehicles to the US but has the excess production capacity to export far more. China has the production capacity to produce 40 mln autos but sells just 30 mln domestically. That means that there is capacity to boost auto exports by as much as 10 mln. Tesla’s Elon Musk, who should know from his experience in China, says that there is a flood of cheap government subsidized Chinese EVs coming if trade measures are not taken preemptively. Biden wants to make sure that they do not come here. Europe will likely do the same so that it is developing nations where these cheap Chinese…

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