Europe Must Follow Biden’s Tariffs on China or Risk Tanking Their Trade Market

By: Kate Row | Published: Jun 02, 2024

Europe needs to take inspiration from Joe Biden’s tariffs on China to avoid to overconsumption of stock from China. 

If other countries do not set rules like America’s president, Joe Biden, then they will all be dumping grounds for China’s industrial goods. Goods such as cars, batteries and cleantech components all could threaten their social market models.

What Are Biden’s Tariffs Against China

Biden has put these tariffs against China to make sure U.S. jobs are projected.

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Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., 46th President of the United States, takes the oath of office as President on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 20, 2021, at 11:49 a.m.

Source: Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies/Wikipedia

America has added a 100% border tax on Chinese electric cars. They have done this to ensure China is not in control of any goods markets. This is also done to ensure essential items are still made in their home country and not to rely on China.

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Overproduction

It is common knowledge that so much of the world’s production of goods happens in China.

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A Factory in China at the Yangtze River.

Source: High Contrast/Wikimedia Commons

Because of China’s overproduction, they are driving manufacturing companies out of business worldwide. The more they make, the more the goods are moved around. When goods are shipped to other countries and sold there, this damages their markets and economies.

Will the U.K. Follow?

If Europe is forced to make a tariff, then surely the U.K. will have to follow along.

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London skyline at sunset with pink and blue sky with clouds.

Source: Ilya Grigorik/Wikipedia

As China will be searching for foreign avenues to sell its excess goods, the U.K. will be forced to add a tariff, or else they risk losing their own manufacturing market. This will happen within a decade if the U.K. does not act now.

What Is Free Trade?

All this economic and manufacturing talk can be muddled and confusing. So, what exactly is free trade?

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Political poster from the British Liberal Party displaying their views on the differences between an economy based on free trade and protectionism. The free-trade shop is shown as full to the brim with customers due to its low prices. The shop based upon protectionism is shown as suffering from high prices and a lack of customers, with animosity between the business owner and the regulator.

Source: Unknown Artist/Wikipedia

Free trade is a trading policy which does not restrict any imports or exports. Most nations are members of the World Trade Organization multilateral trade agreement. Unfortunately, the openness of free trade is changing due to the failing economy and China’s overproduction.

Chineses Economy Issues

In recent times, China’s economy has seen extensive growth because of the modern manufacturing they have capitalized upon.

Shoe shop in Haikou, Hainan Province, People's Republic of China.

Source: Anna Frodesiak/Wikimedia Commons

Despite this surprising growth, they still have challenges they face within the economy. These issues include property crisis, local government debts, youth unemployment, loss of businesses and a loss of confidence from their own consumers. Currently, China’s leaders are avoiding addressing these issues.

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1900s ‘China Shock’

In the 1990s and early 2000s the first “China Shock” hit the rest of the world.

G. Tech Technology Factory Zhuhai China

Source: Chris/Wikimedia Commons

This shock happened when China was opened to offshore plants by Western multinationals. This import competition caused many Americans to lose their jobs within the manufacturing industries. Today, with China’s overconsumption, many people are worried there will soon be another China Shock. If this happens again, it could affect certain economies more than it first did in the early 2000s.

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Joe Biden Answers

Since the tariff was set with Joe Biden in office, he has made comments saying they won’t let the second shock “happen here” in America.

Biden holding a rally at Bowie State University in Maryland for gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, November 7, 2022

Source: Elvert Barnes/Wikipedia

Biden also stated, “The future of EVs (electric vehicles) will be made in America by union workers.” This attitude compares to China’s Communist leader Xi Jinping who believes “there is no such thing as ‘China’s overcapacity problem,’” despite all the evidence at play.

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China's Solar Industry

China has one of the biggest solar power industries in the world. However, it wasn’t exactly an original idea.

Rooftop solar in Hong Kong.

Source: WiNG/Wikipedia

Before they had a huge solar industry, they copied the technology from Europe and then engulfed the markets by mass producing. This almost completely extinguished the European solar industry. China then followed the same path with wind turbines and, subsequently, electrolysers. Experts say that electric cars will be next.

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Europe’s Economy Can’t Cope

If Europe doesn’t follow suit with America’s tariffs, then they will be in a lot trouble if the second China Shock happens.

One of Europe's main economic sources is mining, because it has large reserves of lead, zinc, silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and bauxite. Miners at the Trepča Mines in Mitrovica, Kosovo in 2011.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the European economy has not fully recovered. Public debt is incredibly high, and businesses are still struggling from having to close due to government mandates. The second China Shock will be a lot worse than the first, and it is not certain whether the economy will survive.

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Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin

Putin has recently visited China to show strength between the nations. This visit was purely to show the rest of the world that Putin has powerful friends on his side and the need for China’s support during the Ukrainian war.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin with President of China Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, during Putin' state visit to China, 2024.

Source: Официальный веб-сайт Президента Российской Федерации/Wikimedia Commons

Putin even admitted that he and China’s president are “as close as brothers,” with Xi Jinping referred to Putin as a “good friend and a good neighbor.”

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What Happens Next?

What happens next is up to Europe. They are the last big region to make a decision or have a worse economy.

Extent of Silk trading Route/Silk Road. Red is the land route and the blue is the sea/water route.

Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center derivative work: Splette/Wikipedia

Both America and India are protecting themselves. America through Joe Biden’s tariffs and India just recently inflicted a de facto ban on the use of Chinese-made solar panels. Europe and the U.K. may have few choices, but they must do something to stay afloat.

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