China hopes EU will reconsider EV tariffs: State media

The EU said on June 12 it will impose extra duties of up to 38.1 per cent on imported Chinese electric cars from July. - Photo: AFP

HONG KONG: China hopes the European Union will seriously reconsider tariffs for Chinese EVs and stop going further in the “wrong direction”, according to a commentary in state-backed news Xinhua.

The statement comes after the European Commission said on Wednesday (June 12) it will impose extra duties of up to 38.1 per cent on imported Chinese electric cars from July.

China has said it would take measures to safeguard its interests.

“In light of their economic structure and sheer size, China and the EU are best served by teaming up on major economic and trade issues,” Xinhua said.

“It would be more cost-effective for the EU to draw on China’s advantages in order to develop its own EV industry.”

Less than a month after Washington announced plans to quadruple duties for Chinese EVs to 100 per cent, Brussels said it would combat excessive subsidies with additional tariffs ranging from 17.4 per cent for BYD to 38.1 per cent for SAIC, on top of the standard 10 per cent car duty.

The move comes as European automakers are being challenged by an influx of lower-cost EVs from Chinese rivals.

Still, there is virtually no support for tariffs from the continent’s auto industry.

German automakers in particular are heavily dependent on sales in China and fear retribution from Beijing. European auto firms also import their own Chinese-made vehicles.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has repeatedly said Europe needs to act to prevent China from flooding the bloc’s market with subsidised EVs.

Trade and economic relations between the EU and China are at an important crossroads, and it is crucial for the EU to demonstrate a strategic and long-term vision, Xinhua said.

The regional bloc seemed to have left some room for the two sides to continue their consultations to find a proper solution and avoid the worst scenario, the commentary added.

“It is hoped the EU will make some serious reconsideration and stop going further in the wrong direction.” - Reuters

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