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China, U.S fight over tariffs hike on electric cars

China has accused U.S. President Joe Biden of slapping new tariffs on Beijing as part of his re-election campaign and threatened retaliation.

“The U.S. should immediately correct its wrong practices and cancel the additional tariffs imposed on China,’’ a statement from the Beijing Ministry of Commerce said.

China would “take resolute measures to defend its own rights and interests after the U.S. decided to take this step due to domestic political considerations.’’

The U.S. is increasing tariffs on electric cars from China from 25 per cent to 100 per cent as part of a crackdown on Chinese imports, with solar cells, semiconductors.

Harbour cranes and certain medical products were also affected.

The official Chinese state news agency Xinhua added.

“The newly announced tariff increase is mainly a symbolic gesture by which the Biden administration is trying to play tough with China amid the increasingly fierce election campaign for the presidential candidacy.’’

The current tariffs, which were first introduced by former U.S. president and current Biden challenger Donald Trump in 2018 and have now been increased by the Biden administration.

The Biden administration already effectively kept Chinese vehicles out of the U.S. car market.

The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV spoke of an abuse of trade protectionist measured by the U.S. which would seriously hinder the modernisation of the U.S. car industry.

Negative effects are also to be expected for consumers, CCTV said, adding that the moves would also undermine global efforts to combat climate change.

The U.S. presidential election is coming up in November.

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