The EU slaps additional tariffs on Chinese EV imports

The European Union will place an additional tariff on vehicles imported from China starting next month, the commission announced on Wednesday. The extra tariffs go as high as 38 percent, adding to the existing 10 percent duty the EU imposes on foreign vehicles.

The move comes after a monthslong investigation concluded that Chinese EV makers benefit from unfair state-backed subsidization, allowing them to sell their vehicles for cheaper than rivals. China-made EVs accounted for around 37 percent of all EV imports in the EU, according to a recent study from independent research provider Rhodium Group.

The European Commission says it’s imposing the new tariffs to “remove the substantial unfair competitive advantage” of Chinese EVs and to ensure they “compete on a level playing field.” The tariffs vary by company, with BYD facing a 17.4 percent duty, Geely at 20 percent, and SAIC at 38.1 percent.

China’s Ministry of Commerce isn’t happy with the changes. “The EU ignored the facts and WTO [World Trade Organization] rules, ignored repeated strong objections from China, and ignored the appeals and dissuasions of many EU member states’ governments and industries,” the agency said in a statement.

President Joe Biden made a similar move in the US last month, increasing tariffs on Chinese EVs from 25 percent to 100 percent. This is in response to fear in the industry that China’s cheap EVs could flood the markets and potentially put domestic automakers out of business.


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