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China EU relations.

Beijing vows all ‘necessary measures’ after EU’s EV tariff move

(Global Times) -- Multiple Chinese government departments and organisations voiced on Wednesday strong opposition to the European Commission (EC)’s decision to impose provisional tariffs on Chinese battery electric vehicles (EVs) imports and vowed all necessary countermeasures, urging the EU to immediately correct its wrongdoings. Observers said the move is purely political, helping neither EU consumers nor EU auto industries, and they added that China will take resolute measures to safeguard its lawful interests.
In a statement, the EC announced on Wednesday that it will impose an additional provisional duty of between 17.4 percent to 38.1 percent on EVs from China from earlier July, despite opposition from EU member countries such as Germany, Sweden and Hungary.
The announced top tariff rate was much higher than the 25-percent rate reported by the Financial Times earlier on Wednesday.
The heavy-handed tariffs will hit Chinese brands such as BYD, Geely and SAIC. Tesla cars made in Shanghai may “receive an individually calculated duty rate at the definitive stage” following a “substantiated request.”
On Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) urged the EU to immediately correct its wrong practices and properly address economic and trade frictions through dialogue and consultation, and vowed to take all necessary measures to firmly defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.
The MOFCOM said that the European side ignores the facts and WTO rules, ignores China’s repeated strong objections, and disregards the appeals and discouragement of the governments and industries of many EU member states, which is a matter of great concern and strong dissatisfaction for the Chinese side.
The Chinese industrial sector is deeply disappointed with and resolutely opposed to the move, the MOFCOM said.
The EC deliberately constructs and exaggerates the so-called subsidy program, and the assumption of abnormally high subsidy margins is a blatant act of protectionism, creating and escalating trade friction, and “destroying fair competition” in the name of “safeguarding fair competition,” which is the biggest “unfairness” of all, MOFCOM noted.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian on Wednesday warned that the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs violates the principles of the market economy and international trade rules, and will harm the EU’s interests. The EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs is essentially an act of protectionism, Lin said.
Following the EC’s announcement, the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) expressed its shock, grave disappointment and deep dissatisfaction.
The CCCEU maintains that the Chinese EV industry’s advantage lies in technological innovation and cost management. This is achieved through continuous technological iteration and intense market competition, leveraging China’s comprehensive supply chain advantages to cultivate robust market competitiveness.
The chamber voiced concern that the EC’s protectionist move may escalate trade friction between China and the EU, negatively impacting economic, trade and business relations between the two economies. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry body, said on Wednesday that the EC’s decision is totally unacceptable, urging the bloc to avoid harming and distorting the global automotive industry chain.
Observers said on Wednesday that the EC’s decision, coming despite substantial opposition from EU member countries and industrial bodies, and in disregard to China’s repeated calls to settle the issue through dialogue and consultations, takes away an option from EU consumers in exchange for offering no competitive edge for their automotive industries.
Chinese experts warned that the EU’s move to take protectionist measures, rather than face up to competition through open coordination and cooperation, is politically driven and will sacrifice the interests of EU consumers and the bloc’s drive to a green and low-carbon future.

(Latest Update June 14, 2024)

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