Germany wants to avoid tariffs on Chinese cars against the clock

Sometimes backing out is the smartest thing to do. That's what they think in Germany, which is already working to prevent the new European Union tariffs on Chinese electric cars from coming into force, or at least soften them in case it is not possible to stop them completely.

Last Wednesday the news came from Brussels: Additional tariffs were being imposed on electric cars imported from China, raising taxes up to 48.1%, depending on the degree of cooperation that companies had shown during the EU investigation. The first to be identified were BYD, Geely and SAIC (owner of MG), accused of distorting the market through state subsidies and violating the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Germany's panic

Obviously, the Chinese response has not been long in coming, although it has not materialized. The Asian giant has threatened retaliation in agriculture, aviation and cars with large engines, showing its deep disappointment and firm opposition to European measures on electric vehicles. And any retaliation could harm German manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz or BMW, which largely depend on sales in China, the largest automobile market in the world.

Officials in Berlin are optimistic that the EU will be able to find a solution in direct talks with China, one person (who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential) told Automotive News.

Germany believes there is still room for a deal with the Chinese before tariffs come into effect. effective July 4. German officials see room for maneuver and believe they have allies within the bloc.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said just after the decision that “there is now an opportunity to try and hopefully succeed in stopping” the threat of a tariff escalation. Habeck will travel to China next week to discuss the matter with government officials.

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