China Vows to Take All Necessary Measures after EU Said to Make EV Tariff Decision in Less Than Two Weeks

The new deadline of the provisional tariffs, which were expected to be announced by June 5, is said to be June 10, the day after results of the European Parliament election are released.

TMTPost -- China reiterates its opposition to the European Union’s possible new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and vows to make all efforts to defend its interests.

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

“If the EU insists on continuing with the investigation, China will not sit back and watch. We will take every necessary measure to firmly safeguard our lawful rights and interests,” Mao Ning, the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, warned at a regular press on Thursday, when asked about response to a report about the possible postpone of the decision on EV tariffs following an EU investigation.

Mao urged the EU to stop the investigation as soon as possible so as not to disrupt China-EU economic and trade cooperation and the stability of industrial and supply chains. The spokesperson called the investigation a protectionist move in nature. There are many practices in the investigation that are simply unjustifiable and inconsistent with the rules and the EU’s accusation of China’s so-called subsidization is untenable, Mao said. 

The European Commission will delay its decision on Chinese EV tariffs until after the European Parliament election on June 9, according to the aforementioned report from Reuters earlier Thursday. The new deadline of the provisional tariffs, which were expected to be announced by June 5, is June 10, the day after results of the European Parliament election are released, the report cited a source familiar with the matter. The postpone aims to keep the tariff issue out of the election campaign phase, said German magazine Spiegel.

The EU officially launched an investigation into EVs from China on October 4 2023.The European Commission is set to decide whether to impose tariffs more than the current 10% standard rate for cars within 13 months once the investigation started. The possible tariff will affect not just Chinese automakers but also foreign brands that produce vehicles there such as Tesla, Renault and BMW. The probe may result in tariffs close to the 27.5% level already imposed by the U.S. on Chinese EVs, Bloomberg reported last September.

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyenan suggested last week she would diverge from the U.S. on tariffs. “We share some of the concerns of our [US] counterparts but we have a different approach, a much more tailored approach,” von der Leyen said lastTuesday. Head of the EU’s main executive body stressed should a months-long EU investigation be confirmed Chinese subsidies exist, she can guarantee the level of the duties EU would impose is correspondent to the level of damage.

Italian Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said last Saturday that the EU should follow the example of the U.S. government to impose tariffs on Chinese products. Urso warn the steep tariff hike imposed by the Biden administration could lead to China’s export shift toward Europe and dampen the bloc’s auto industry. "Much higher tariffs against Chinese products are inevitable if we do not want the European industry to be wiped out," said Urso.

The White House announced on May 12 that U.S. President Joe Biden directed his Trade Representative to increase tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion of Chinese imports in order to protect American workers and American companies from China’s unfair trade practices. The Biden administration will sharply ratchet up tariffs on semiconductors, EVs,EV batteries, battery parts, solar cells and steel and aluminum, and impose new tariffs on cranes and medical products. The tariff rate on EVs under Section 301 will increase to 100% in 2024, quadrupling the current tariff of 25%.

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