US President Joe Biden wants to strike at the heart of Chinese imports. He is ready to spend big money to curb China's increasing economic and political influence.
Sparking fresh trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies -- the United States and China -- the Joe Biden administration has set up a "strike force" to boost the resilience of supply chains. The task force will examine the possibility of imposing new tariffs on Chinese rare earth magnets which are used in the manufacture of commercial goods like smartphones, electric vehicle motors, and others.
According to the University of Birmingham, the demand for rare earth magnets is set to rise to 2,70,000 tonnes a year by 2030 from about 1,30,000 tonnes at present.
Bill to Counter China Power
The US Senate voted on June 8 to adopt a Bill -- estimated at $250 billion -- "to counter China’s growing economic and military prowess." According to the provisions of the Bill, a huge amount of money will be spent in an array of research areas. In fact, the Bill provisions $300 million to counter the "political influence of the Chinese Communist Party."
The US legislators -- both Democrats and Republicans -- believe that investments in advanced technologies are likely to give the US a lasting edge over its geopolitical adversary China.
The Bill comes at a time when a global shortage in semiconductor supply is hitting automakers, smartphone makers, and other tech firms. Market experts say the Bill may not provide immediate relief to the US companies currently struggling with the “chip crisis,” but these ventures will be able to reduce their input cost by procuring semiconductors domestically in the long run.
Biden Talks Tough
Earlier on June 6, President Biden wrote in the Washington Post, "Whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere, meeting the demands of an accelerating climate crisis, or confronting the harmful activities of the governments of China and Russia, the US must lead the world from a position of strength."
The opinion piece came days ahead of Biden's first foreign tour as US President. Biden is scheduled to meet G7 partners, NATO allies, and EU leaders on this trip.
Chinese experts, in a report in the country's English mouthpiece Global Times, said it is naive of the US to think that it can still lead the global system from a position of strength even as the world is shifting from a unipolar to a multi-polar structure.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin also reacted sharply to Biden's 'anti-Russia' chorus and sanctions against Moscow. Comparing the US stance to the erstwhile Soviet Union, he said, "The United States is wrong to think that it is powerful enough to get away with threatening other countries."
(Edited by : Shoma)
First Published: IST