EU Said to Impose Chinese EV Tariffs from July 4

The European Commission is reported to inform Chinese auto companies privately next week about the level of import duty that will be applied.

TMTPost -- The European Union may impose tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle exports from next month.

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

A Chinese auto association met with the EU’s department of trade in Brussels on Monday for a hearing on the bloc’s anti-subsidy investigation, and during the hearing, the EU officials told Chinese automakers the European Commission is expected to levy provisional duties on July 4, the South China Morning Post reported, citing people familiar with the meeting. It was said that no exact tariff rate were disclosed in the hearing, while the commission is expected to inform these companies privately next week about the level of import duty that will be applied.

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 month 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 two weeks ago. 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 month 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.

Reuters learned last week that the European Commission will delay its decision on Chinese EV tariffs until after the European Parliament election on June 9. 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.

“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 last Thursday, when asked about response to the aformentioned Reuters report. 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. 

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