Victim of its own successes? Imports from China increasingly targeted by Tariffs

In the first 4 months of 2024, exports of steel products and vehicles from China have increased by ~25% compared to one year earlier.

A graph displaying the evolution of China's steel and vehicle exports over the last ten years, using IG colors.

Whilst those exports had regularly over the past 20 years, in-line with the industrialisation of the country, a sharp acceleration took place through 2020-2022 with the pandemic and its negative impact on car and apartment sales in China.

Despite China fighting the deep housing market crisis since its start in 2022, the industrial sector has adapted to the situation with a shift to overseas markets. Whilst those products have been initially welcomed in many areas, thanks to their contribution to tackle soaring inflation, they have also been increasingly perceived as an aggression by countries aiming at developing local industries. In recent month, imports tariffs on various goods produced in China have emerged in countries including Brazil or India. This week was the turn of the United States and a unilateral decision to increase its imports tariffs for steel and aluminium to 25% and for electric vehicles to 100%!

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