The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Biden Imposes Tariffs on China

May 20, 2024

Last week, President Joe Biden—who’s been everywhere in the media lately—announced he was raising the tariff on Chinese electric vehicles from 25% to 100%. He also announced additional tariffs on solar panels and other high-tech manufactured goods.

Imposing these tariffs, Joe Biden is working for the American auto companies first of all. The tariff is a virtual ban on less expensive Chinese-made electric vehicles—insulating American companies from competition, making it easier for them to make money. The American and Chinese economies are deeply intertwined. Nonetheless, both countries have been handing subsidies to their own home “green manufacturers.”

Biden also has the fall election in mind. He poses these tariffs as “defending American jobs.” That’s a bunch of malarkey, as “Uncle Joe” himself might say! The tariffs mean goods and services cost more—they end up being a tax on working people. They do nothing to create or protect jobs in this country.

But Trump got a hearing from some in the 2016 and 2020 elections by talking about jobs. Biden saw this. Lo and behold: he has not ended any of Trump’s tariffs—in fact, we see him making more!

This nationalism seeks to line U.S. workers up with U.S. companies against Chinese workers. In fact, both the U.S. and the Chinese working class face the same enemy: the capitalist class. Chinese workers could be a great ally in taking on all the bosses. Biden and Trump’s attempts to divide us are a bunch of hooey meant to distract us from that fact.