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The High Costs of the New US Tariffs on Chinese EVs

Every time one set of protectionist measures against China disappoints, the United States escalates its economic war in the hope that additional restrictions will prove more effective. Yet by slapping massive tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, America has laid bare its own hypocrisy and economic vulnerabilities.

NEW HAVEN – President Joe Biden’s administration has just announced 100% tariffs on electric vehicles (EVs) manufactured in China, prompting Donald Trump to promise a 200% tariff on Chinese cars made in Mexico if he is elected in November. Neither policy would have notable effects on the US car market, because imports of Chinese EVs are miniscule, owing to past tariffs and the anti-Chinese sentiment that has gripped the country in recent years. Nonetheless, the announcement is significant for three reasons.