High tariffs are keeping affordable Chinese-made EVs out of the U.S. for now

INSKEEP: OK. So why could I not buy one of those cars here if I wanted to?

DOMONOSKE: Well, mostly because the federal government is keeping them out on purpose. It is hard to break into the U.S. market. There are very strict safety standards, so you have to figure out the whole dealership system. But the biggest barrier is this 27.5% tariff on Chinese-made vehicles that was imposed by former President Trump and continued by President Biden.

It’s still possible to sell Chinese cars in the U.S. Notably, Volvo is actually bringing a small SUV made in China to the states this summer. But these tariffs could increase, and there is currently an investigation by the Commerce Department that could even result in a prohibition, possibly, on some Chinese vehicles.

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