Chinese Car Companies Seek Import Taxes on EU Rivals Amid Trade Tensions
Chinese Car Companies Seek Import Taxes on EU Rivals Amid Trade Tensions

Chinese car companies have urged Beijing to impose import taxes as high as 25% on European Union (EU) rivals if the trading bloc proceeds with tariffs on vehicles from China, according to reports from China's state media.

The demand was made during a closed-door meeting organized by China's Ministry of Commerce, which also included representatives from European car firms. The proposed measures specifically target cars from the EU with large petrol-driven engines.

Last week, the EU threatened to impose tariffs of up to 38% on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers starting from July 4th. This escalation has further strained trade relations between the two economic powers.

The meeting in Beijing was attended by four Chinese and six European car companies, as reported by a social media account associated with state broadcaster CCTV. German automaker Volkswagen confirmed its presence at the meeting but declined to comment on the specifics discussed. Other European companies reportedly present included BMW and Porsche.

According to the report, "China's car companies called on the government to adopt firm countermeasures against the EU. It is suggested that within the limits allowed by World Trade Organization rules, a higher provisional tariff be imposed on large-displacement petrol vehicles imported from Europe."

These calls echo a similar sentiment expressed in a Global Times article last month, which proposed a 25% tariff on cars with petrol engines larger than 2.5 liters.

Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) announced last week that it had "provisionally concluded" Chinese EV manufacturers will face tariffs if discussions with Chinese authorities fail to reach a resolution. Companies that cooperated with the investigation could face an average 21% duty, while non-cooperating firms could face up to 38.1%.

These tariffs would be in addition to the existing 10% tariff levied on all electric cars imported from China. The EU's stance follows the US decision to increase tariffs on Chinese electric cars from 25% to 100% last month, intensifying trade tensions further.

China has criticized these moves as protectionist and has initiated retaliatory measures. Earlier this week, China launched an investigation into imports of European pork products. Last month, Beijing began a similar investigation into imports of chemicals from the EU and the US.

The developments underscore the escalating trade tensions between China and the EU, with both sides taking increasingly aggressive measures in a bid to protect their respective industries.

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