EU to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese electric cars, risking trade war

Europe VIA REUTERS - China Daily CDIC

The European Union threatened on Wednesday to hit Chinese electric car imports with additional tariffs of up to 38 percent from next month following an anti-subsidy probe, a move that risks triggering a trade war.

"The Commission has provisionally concluded that the battery electric vehicles (BEV) value chain in China benefits from unfair subsidisation, which is causing a threat of economic injury to EU BEV producers," it said in a statement.

"Should discussions with Chinese authorities not lead to an effective solution, these provisional countervailing duties would be introduced," it added.

The tariffs will apply provisionally from July 4 and then definitively from November unless there is a qualified majority of EU states, 15 countries representing at least 65 percent of the bloc's population, voting against the move.

The European Commission has now ordered a provisional hike of tariffs on Chinese manufacturers: 17.4 percent for market major BYD, currently the world's largest electric car maker, 20 percent for Geely and 38.1 percent for SAIC Motor.

All other electric car producers in China which had cooperated with the commission's probe but were not sampled would face an average duty of 21 percent, the Commission statement added.

"Typical protectionism"

Hours before the announcement, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian called the EU measures an "anti-subsidy probe," which he described as "typical protectionism." According to Lin, the additional tariffs "violate market economy principles and international trade rules," and damages China-EU economic cooperation, adding that "China will take all measures necessary" to defend its own interests.

(With newswires)

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