On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden slapped major new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminium, and medical equipment.

He says the Chinese government subsidies ensure the nation’s companies don’t have to turn a profit, giving them an unfair advantage in global trade.

The White House says the measures, which include a 100% border tax on electric cars from China, were a response to unfair policies and intended to protect US jobs.

As well as a rise from 25 to 100% on electric vehicle tariffs, levies on solar cells would go up from 25 to 50%.

Tariff rates on certain steel and aluminium products will more than triple to 25%, up from 7.5% or less.

The White House says the tariffs would hit an estimated $18-billion worth of imports.

Analysts said the tariffs were largely symbolic and intended to shore up votes in a tough election year.