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Monday July 22, 2024

China wants EU to scrap EV tariff plans

By News Desk
June 25, 2024
A representational of an electric car. — Reuters/File
A representational of an electric car. — Reuters/File

BEIJING: Beijing wants the EU to scrap plans to impose preliminary tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle imports by July 4, China’s state-controlled Global Times reported, after both sides agreed to negotiate a possible compromise.

Provisional European Union duties of up to 38.1 per cent on imported Chinese-made EVs are set to kick in by July 4 while the bloc investigates what it says are excessive and unfair subsidies.

The European Commission said it would host technical talks with Chinese officials in Brussels this week.“The EU side has emphasised that any negotiated outcome of the investigation must be effective in addressing the injurious subsidisation,” a Commission spokesperson said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there needed to be “serious movement and progress” from China too.China has repeatedly called on the EU to cancel its tariffs, expressing a willingness to negotiate. Beijing does not want to be embroiled in another tariff war, still stung by US tariffs on its goods imposed by the Trump administration, but says it would take all steps to protect Chinese firms should one happen.

China’s Global Times, citing observers, said the best outcome would be for the EU to scrap its tariff plans before July 4.Analysts and European trade lobby groups stressed that China would need to come to negotiations willing to make major concessions.

Alicia Garcia Herrero, senior fellow at Bruegel, an influential EU affairs think tank, doubted the planned curbs could be dropped before elections in France on June 30 and July 7.“The Commission can't change a decision it has been pondering for months on months on months,” she added. “Yes, China is putting pressure on the member states, but they would need to vote with a qualified majority against the Commission.”

The European Commission is set to make a final decision on tariffs by Nov. 2 at the end of the anti-subsidy investigation.The Chinese commerce ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

TALKS ARE A 'GOOD SIGN'

Siegfried Russwurm, head of Germany’s biggest industry association BDI, said it was a “good sign” both sides would hold talks.“You know the old saying: as long as there are talks you’re not shooting at each other,” he told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.