China slams EU tariffs on electric vehicles as 'protectionist'

Beijing accuses bloc of ‘wielding stick of protectionism, politicising and weaponizing’ economic, trade issues

Anadolu Agency June 12, 2024
BYD electric vehicles before being loaded onto a vehicle carrier, at the port of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province, China April 25, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS


Expressing “strong dissatisfaction” after the EU Commission announced higher tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EV), Beijing called the move a “protectionist act.”

“This is a naked protectionist act, creating and escalating trade frictions, and ‘destroying fair competition’ in the name of ‘maintaining fair competition’,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The commission said it will impose additional custom duties of as much as 38.1% on Chinese electric vehicles as of July 4.

However, the ministry accused the EU of “disregarding the facts and World Trade Organization rules” as well as “ignoring” China's repeated strong opposition.

It said the EU decision “will also disrupt and distort the global automotive industry supply chain, including the EU.”

“The European Commission is holding high the banner of green development in one hand and wielding the stick of ‘protectionism’ in the other, politicising and weaponizing economic and trade issues,” said the ministry, urging the EU to “immediately correct its wrong practices.”

Read also: New US tariffs hike targets China’s semiconductors, electric vehicles

Brussels last year initiated a probe into imports from China which provisionally concluded that Chinese battery electric vehicles benefit from "unfair subsidisation," causing a competition gap.

“The findings disclosed in the EU ruling lack factual and legal basis,” said the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

However, the measures announced by the commission under the first provisional decision sets individual duties for BYD Company at 17.4%, Geely group at 20%, and SAIC Motor at 38.1%.

Other Chinese producers not sampled by the commission will be subject to a duty rate of 21%, while all other producers, which did not cooperate in the investigation will be subject to residual duty of 38.1%.

China Chamber of Commerce to the EU also expressed “shock, grave disappointment and deep dissatisfaction” with the move.

The chamber voiced concern that the commission move may “escalate trade friction between China and the EU, negatively impacting economic, trade, and business relations between the two economies.”


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