EU tariffs on China not a "punishment", says German minister

    WORLD  23 June 2024 - 00:15

    During his visit to Beijing, Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck reassured Chinese officials that the European Union's proposed tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) are intended to address what the EU sees as unfair subsidies rather than punitive measures.

    Habeck emphasized that the EU's approach differs from countries like the US, Brazil, and Türkiye, which have employed punitive tariffs, Reuters reports.

    The European Commission has conducted a thorough nine-month investigation into whether Chinese companies received unfair subsidies, with any resulting countervailing duties aimed at leveling the playing field rather than penalizing China. Habeck underscored the importance of achieving common standards for market access.

    In discussions with Chinese officials, including Zheng Shanjie of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Habeck emphasized the EU's intention to ensure fair competition through the proposed tariffs. Zheng, however, defended China's new energy industry, attributing its growth to technological advantages and competitive dynamics rather than unfair subsidies.

    Despite trade tensions, the meeting between Habeck and Chinese officials also focused on deepening cooperation on climate change, aligning with a memorandum of understanding signed last year. Both nations acknowledged their role in preventing global warming, although discussions also touched upon China's significant reliance on coal for energy.

    The EU's provisional tariffs are scheduled to take effect soon, with further discussions planned to address the findings of the EU's investigation into subsidies.

    Caliber.Az

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