Li_DanLi_Dan ・ Jul. 8, 2024
EU Ambassador Says China Responds Only Recently for talks in EV Probe
The EU has offered consultations to the Chinese government on this case for months, but it was only nine days ago that European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis received a call from China's Commerce Commerce Minister Wang Wentao to start consultations, said the EU's ambassador to China.

TMTPost -- The European Union diplomats blame China for its late response that led to the bloc’s higher tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles.

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

Credit:Xinhua News Agency

The EU has offered consultations to the Chinese government on this case for months, but “it was only nine days ago” that European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis received a call from China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao to start consultations, a Bloomberg report cited Jorge Toledo, the EU’s ambassador to China, at a conference in Beijing Sunday. “We sent a letter four months ago saying we want to talk about this and other things,” Toledo said.

The call from Minister Wang only came after German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck pushed him to do so in his visit to China last month, Bruno Angelet, the Belgian Ambassador in Beijing, said at the same conference, according to the report. It added that Angelet and Toledo noted that Beijing publicly criticized European actions while it remained silent or had muted reaction to other nations’ similar moves.

The two diplomats remarks came days after the EU announced its provisional tariffs on EV imports from China. The European Commission announced Thursday it imposed provisional countervailing duties of up to 37.6%, on top of the ordinary BEV import duty of 10%, on imports of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from China. The executive arm of the EU concluded through an anti-subsidy investigation that the BEV value chain in China benefits from unfair subsidization, which is causing a threat of economic injury to EU BEV producers.

Specifically, the additional individual duties on three sampled Chinese EV makers, would be 17.4% for BYD, 19.9% for Geely and 37.6% for SAIC. That means the EU decided to levy a little bit less duties on Geely and SAIC-made EVs since its pre-disclosed proposed rates are 20% and 38.1%, respectively, while BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer, faces the same tariff rate as EU’s original proposal disclosed on June 12.

The European Commission suggested the long-term  definitive duties will be effective no later than four months ago, if approved by EU countries. All the abovementioned provisional duties are applied for a maximum duration of four months starting from July 5. Within the four-month timeframe, a final decision must be taken on definitive duties, through a vote by EU Member States, and when adopted, this decision would make the duties definitive for a period of five years, the Commission said.

China has repeatedly expressed strong opposition to the EU's anti-subsidy investigation on China's EVs, and advocated properly handling economic and trade frictions through dialogue and consultation, said He Yadong, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM).  “There is still a four-month window before the (EU’s) final ruling. We hope that the European side will work with China to meet each other halfway, show sincerity, speed up the consultation process, and, on the basis of rules and reality, reach a mutually acceptable solution as soon as possible,” He told reports at regular press last Thursday.

He said Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and European Commission Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis met virtually on June 22 to discuss the EU probe. The spokesperson revealed the two sides had held multiple rounds of talks at a technical level, without providing details about the talks like wether the talks were underway or any consensus had reached.

Responding to a question about whether China plans to introduce further retaliatory measures in addition to possible anti-dumping measures against European brandy imports, At a regular press last Friday, Mao Ning, the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, reiterated China had already expressed firm opposition more than once to the EU’s anti-subsidy probe into Chinese EVs . While stating the specific trade issues should be resolved properly through dialogue and consultation, Mao stressed China will also take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests. 

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