EU and China start talks on electric vehicle tariffs 

EU and China start talks on electric vehicle tariffs 

China and the EU have agreed to start talks on the planned imposition of tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) being imported into the European market.

“This is new and surprising in that it has not been possible to enter into a concrete negotiation timetable in the last few weeks,” Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.

The official said there is time for a dialogue between the EU and China on tariff issues before the duties come into full effect in November.

Another point of tension between Beijing and Berlin is China’s support for Russia in its war in Ukraine. According to the German official, Chinese trade with Russia increased more than 40% last year.

Habeck said he had told Chinese officials that this was affecting their economic relationship.

The EU’s provisional duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese EVs are set to apply by July 4, with the investigation set to continue until Nov. 2, when definitive duties, typically for five years, could be imposed.

“This opens a phase where negotiations are possible, discussions are important and dialog is needed,” Habeck said.

Zheng Shanjie, the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said that the proposed EU duties on Chinese-made EVs would hurt both sides. He told Habeck he hoped Germany would demonstrate leadership within the EU and “do the correct thing.”

The official also denied accusations of unfair subsidies.

The industry’s growth “is the result of competition, rather than subsidies, let alone unfair competition,” Zheng said.