China and EU to Begin Talks on Proposed Tariffs on Chinese EVs


SHANGHAI, June 22 (Reuters) – China and the European Union have agreed to commence discussions on the proposed tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) entering the European market, senior officials from both sides confirmed on Saturday.

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Germany’s Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, stated that EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis informed him of the upcoming negotiations with China. This announcement follows a statement from China’s commerce ministry that its head, Wang Wentao, and Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, had agreed to consultations regarding the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs.

Habeck, speaking in Shanghai, highlighted this development as a significant initial step towards resolution, noting that a concrete negotiation timetable had previously been elusive. He emphasized the necessity of a level playing field and condemned proven subsidies that unfairly benefit exporters.

Tensions between Beijing and Berlin also encompass China’s support for Russia amidst the Ukraine conflict. Habeck indicated that Chinese trade with Russia increased by over 40% last year, which negatively impacts their economic relationship. He urged that European-made technical goods should not be diverted to battlefields through third countries.

The EU’s provisional duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese EVs are set to begin by July 4, with a full investigation continuing until November 2. This period allows for potential definitive duties for five years.

Habeck stressed that the proposed EU tariffs are not punitive but rather compensatory measures for unfair advantages granted to Chinese companies by subsidies. In response, Zheng Shanjie, chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, defended China’s EV industry as a product of competitive advantages rather than subsidies.

Following his meeting with Zheng, Habeck had a video conference with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, who planned further discussions with EU Trade Commissioner Dombrovskis.

Chinese automaker SAIC Group has creatively responded to the threat of tariffs, designing products like skateboards and hoodies emblazoned with “38.1” and the EU emblem, symbolizing resilience against the proposed tariffs.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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