President Biden announced on Tuesday that he is raising tariffs on an array of Chinese imports, including steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, ship-to-shore cranes, and medical products, in what he calls “an effort to protect American workers and American companies from China’s unfair trade practices.”

The increased tariffs will apply to about $18 billion worth of annual imports from China, White House officials said.

The White House has declined to speculate on how Beijing may hit back now. Biden however acknowledged Tuesday that he expects China will likely retaliate in some way to the newly announced tariffs against Beijing.

The President Biden also criticized the previous administration’s trade deal with China, claiming that it failed to increase American exports or boost American manufacturing as it had promised.

China’s Ministry of Commerce criticized yesterday the tariffs in a statement, saying that China “firmly opposes this.”

The statement called the Biden administration’s decision “typical political manipulation” that would “seriously affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction with this. The United States should immediately correct its wrongdoing and cancel the additional tariffs imposed on China.”

China called on the United States to rescind the decision, saying that “China will take resolute measures to defend its rights and interests. The U.S.’s increase tariffs violates President Biden’s commitment “not to break links with China.”

The tariff rate on ship-to-shore (STS) cranes will increase from 0% to 25% in 2024.

As it is claimed by the White House, a 25% tariff rate on ship-to-shore cranes will help protect U.S. manufacturers from China’s unfair trade practices that have led to excessive concentration in the market.

The embrace of tariffs by the US government reflects a growing awareness in and outside Washington of Chinese trade practices that have cost American workers their jobs, said US officials.

“Port cranes are essential pieces of infrastructure that enable the continuous movement and flow of critical goods to, from, and within the United States, and the Administration is taking action to mitigate risks that could disrupt American supply chains.”

“This action also builds off of ongoing work to invest in U.S. port infrastructure through the President’s Investing in America Agenda. This port security initiative includes bringing port crane manufacturing capabilities back to the United States to support U.S. supply chain security and encourages ports across the country and around the world to use trusted vendors when sourcing cranes or other heavy equipment.”