In a statement released by the White House, it was emphasized that American-made steel continues to be critical to the country's economic and national security.  Joe Biden called for a tripling of tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.

Pointing out that the Biden administration has made historic investments in American steel and manufacturing that contrast sharply with the previous administration, the statement noted that the US trade deficit with China is at its lowest level in a decade.

American workers in the steel and aluminum industries face a significant challenge from China's steel and aluminum exports, which are among the most emission-intensive products in the world, the statement said.

China's overcapacity and out-of-market investments in the steel and aluminum industries have forced US products to compete with artificially low-priced alternatives produced with higher carbon emissions, the statement said, reminding that steel is a critical input for the domestic shipbuilding industry, from commercial shipping vessels to US naval vessels.

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INVESTIGATION INTO CHINA'S SHIP PRACTICES

The statement said that the Biden administration is aware of growing concerns that China's "unfair" trade practices are distorting the global shipbuilding market and harming competition, and that these concerns were expressed in a petition submitted by 5 labor unions to the US Trade Representative (USTR) requesting an investigation into China's actions, policies and practices in the maritime, logistics and shipbuilding sectors.

Biden called on the USTR to consider tripling the current tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum, reminding that the current average tariff rate on certain steel and aluminum products is 7.5 percent.

It was also noted in the statement that upon the petition of 5 labor unions, the USTR launched an investigation into China's "unfair" trade practices in the shipbuilding, maritime and logistics sectors.

The US Department of Commerce will also take action against countries and importers that do not follow the rules and flood the market with cheap products, the statement said, adding that Biden directed his senior team to work in partnership with Mexico to prevent China and other countries from avoiding tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Mexico to the US.