The United States will step up its efforts to tackle unfair trade practices, particularly those by China. A special “strike force” is being set up for this, the Biden administration reports.
In addition, access to critical products such as semiconductors and batteries for electric vehicles is under review.
The strike force, led by the U.S. Trade Representative, will look for specific violations that contributed to a supply chain “erosion.” The Americans hope to be able to restore things by introducing trade measures.
The US Department of Commerce is also considering investigating the national security implications of imports of specific magnets used in motors and other industrial applications. At the moment, they are still mostly imported from China.
President Joe Biden ordered an investigation into critical supply chains in February. Executive agencies were required to report within 100 days of the risks to US access to critical goods used, for example, in the pharmaceutical industry. It also concerns rare earth, for which the US depends on sources abroad.
The tougher approach is not explicitly aimed at China but is part of a broader strategy by the Biden administration to boost US competitiveness.