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The EU is following Washington’s footsteps with tariffs of up to 48 percent on Chinese EVs

The new levies will vary by electric vehicle manufacturer, depending on how well each cooperated in the European Commission’s anti-subsidy probe
  • The move has drawn a warning from China’s foreign ministry that protectionism will ‘eventually hurt Europe’s own interests’





UPDATED: 13 Jun 2024, 8:01 am

The European Union (EU) intends to follow the US in imposing new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), arguing that the hefty subsidies Chinese automakers receive from their government threaten the ability of European EV manufacturers to compete on the open market.

The proposed additional tariff rates – on top of an existing 10 percent – would vary by manufacturer, depending on how well each individual company cooperated with an anti-subsidy investigation conducted by the European Commission, Reuters reports

From 4 July, BYD EVs are set to incur an additional levy of 17.4 percent, Geely EVs 20 percent and SAIC EVs 38.1 percent (bringing the latter company’s total tax rate to 48.1 percent, the highest).

[See more: Imports of Chinese electric vehicles surge ahead of tariff crackdown in Brazil]

Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas said the body had “reached out to Chinese authorities to discuss these findings and explore possible ways for resolving the issues identified”.

China has rebuked the EU over its nine-month anti-subsidy investigation, and warned that it would respond in kind, through slapping its own tariffs on EU-made automobiles, aircrafts and liquor. 

In a press conference yesterday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian described the EU’s move as protectionism that would “eventually hurt Europe’s own interests.”

[See more: IMF calls for restraint after US imposes more tariffs on Chinese goods]

“China will take all measures necessary to firmly defend our lawful rights and interests,” he added. “Protectionism has no future, and openness and cooperation are the right way.”

US President Joe Biden announced a series of tariff increases on a number of Chinese products last month, also citing China’s domestic subsidies. The tariff rate on Chinese EVs imported into the US is set to rise from 25 percent to 100 percent this year.

The International Monetary Fund has called for restraint in the ongoing trade war between the US and China, urging the rivals “to find a solution that addresses the underlying concerns that have exacerbated trade tensions between the two countries.” 

UPDATED: 13 Jun 2024, 8:01 am

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