1709735436 Brussels is considering imposing retroactive tariffs on Chinese car companies

Brussels is considering imposing retroactive tariffs on Chinese car companies for the subsidies they receive | Companies

Brussels is considering imposing retroactive tariffs on Chinese car companies

The European Commission is considering imposing retroactive tariffs on Chinese car companies on the subsidies they receive from the Chinese government. The Commission explains this in an implementing regulation on Tuesday and ensures that there is “sufficient evidence that imports” of electric cars from China receive aid of various types. Either through “the direct transfer of funds” or “the forfeiture or non-collection of public revenue” or “the public provision of goods or services for less than fair remuneration,” the document says. For this reason, Brussels has ordered customs authorities To imports of Chinese electric cars over the next nine months (only cars with up to a maximum of nine seats. Motorcycles excluded).

This document is the result of the investigation that Brussels is conducting to determine whether Chinese automobile companies are receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese state. The Commission's aim is to protect the interests of European car manufacturers from the Chinese, who have landed in Europe in recent years en masse with a diverse range of electric vehicles and with whom the Europeans in many cases cannot keep up in terms of quality and price. The Commission found that imports of Chinese electric vehicles increased by 14% year-on-year between October 2023 (when the subsidy investigation was officially opened) and January last year.

“There is a risk that more and more Union producers will be affected by declining sales volumes and reduced production volumes if the level of imports at supposedly subsidized prices from China continues after the initiation of the investigation,” the Commission said. The Commission considers that this “will have a negative impact on the employment and overall performance of Union producers”.

The European Commission launched this investigation following numerous complaints from some of the main manufacturers on the Old Continent, who felt they were at a disadvantage compared to the Asian giant's manufacturers. “We should ask the European Union to impose the same conditions on Chinese manufacturers that we impose on Western companies in China. “There is no reason why we make it easier for the Chinese manufacturer in Europe than the one we will face when we enter their market,” said the CEO of Stellantis back in 2022 during the Paris Motor Show (the largest car manufacturer in Spain) , Carlos Tavares. Curiously, last year Stellantis announced the purchase of 20% of the Chinese company Leapmotor for 1.5 billion euros. The agreement envisages the sale of the Asian brand's cars outside China.

“We have to find out whether there is fair competition. I want to play 11 against 11 football and not 11 against 15. You have to look at that. “Europe has mechanisms to favor manufacturers that have a positive impact on the planet,” Josep Maria Recasens, director of strategy and business development at Renault Group, said in an interview Five days in October.

“Our companies are too often excluded from foreign markets or fall victim to predatory practices. “They are often weakened by competitors who benefit from large state subsidies,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen assured last September when she announced the investigation into Chinese subsidies.

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