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Lianhe Zaobao: China Considers Raising Tariffs on U.S. and European Cars

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, according to the European Chamber of Commerce in China, China may be considering raising temporary tariffs on imported cars from the United States and the European Union to up to 25 percent. This potential move would have implications for European and U.S. automakers. This news comes after the Biden administration increased tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles to 100 percent, and the EU is investigating the unfair advantages that Chinese automakers receive due to government subsidies.

Liu Bin, chief expert at the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, said in an interview that, according to World Trade Organization rules, China’s temporary tariff rate on imported cars can be raised to a maximum of 25 percent. The Chinese government tariff adjustments may cover imported gasoline cars and sports utility vehicles with engine displacements greater than 2.5 liters.

Amid price wars and a slowdown in China’s domestic economy, Chinese EV makers are expanding overseas, prompting accusations from the U.S. and EU countries that China is exporting excess EV production capacity. China’s auto exports have also raised Western concerns regarding the cybersecurity of China’s high-tech cars. In 2023, China imported 250,000 cars with engine displacements greater than 2.5 liters, accounting for approximately 32 percent of all imported cars. By comparison, China exported 1.55 million electric vehicles last year, according to Chinese customs data.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, May 22, 2024