U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to double, triple and even quadruple tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports has drawn Beijing’s ire, upping the ante in a row that threatens to further derail trade ties between the world’s two largest economies.

But despite Chinese complaints, experts believe the rival superpowers' trade war is only likely to intensify as the U.S. buckles down for a November election in which being “tough” on China has been a crucial element of the campaign.

The steep tariff hikes will target strategic sectors such as electric vehicles (EVs), semiconductors and critical minerals in a move the White House said was aimed at “shielding” U.S. businesses and workers from Beijing’s “unfair” trade practices and “artificially low-priced alternatives” resulting from Chinese state subsidies and industrial overcapacity.