China hopes for solution with EU on EV tariffs ‘as soon as possible’

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Employees work on the electric vehicle assembly line at a digital automobile factory of Jiangling Motors on May 17, 2024.

Visual China Group |

BEIJING – China hopes to soon reach an agreement with the European Union on the bloc's planned tariffs on imported Chinese electric cars, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

The European Commission announced in mid-June that if talks with China are unsuccessful, the Union would impose additional tariffs on imported Chinese electric vehicles from Thursday, July 4. “Final measures” would come into force four months after that date, according to a press release.

“We hope that the European side will work with China to meet each other halfway, show sincerity, speed up the consultation process and reach a mutually acceptable solution as soon as possible based on rules and reality,” Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman He Yadong told reporters in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

He reiterated China's opposition to the European Union's anti-subsidy investigation, pointing out that both sides still have four months to respond.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and European Commission Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis met virtually on June 22 to discuss the EU investigation.

Spokesman He said on Thursday that both sides had held several rounds of technical-level talks, but did not specify whether the talks were ongoing or had already ended.

The EU launched an investigation last year into the role of subsidies in the production of electric vehicles in China. The new technology vehicle industry, which includes hybrid and pure battery cars, has grown rapidly in China, and car manufacturers such as BYD have started exporting the vehicles to Europe and other regions.

According to an analysis by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Chinese government has invested $230.8 billion in building the electric car industry over a period of more than a decade.