Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

EU engulfed in furious China trade row with European elections wreaking havoc

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024

The European Union has found itself in a legal bind over a possible move to impose import duties on Chinese electric vehicles.

With the findings of an EU anti-subsidy investigation expected soon, companies were expecting to hear whether or not duties would slapped on EV imports from China on June 6 at the latest.

According to the EU’s own anti-subsidy investigation rules, companies must be given at least four weeks’ notice that duties are being imposed. The duties, if they were brought in, would start on July 4 meaning an announcement would need to be made by June 6.

However, June 6 is the first day of the European elections, running until June 9. According to Der Spiegel, the announcement on EV duties could come in the week starting June 10, but that would see the EU breach its own rules.

According to trade lawyers that spoke to Politico, it was doubtful that it would be possible to delay the announcement.

One told the outlet: “I don’t know of any case that did not respect the four weeks. But this is not a normal case, of course.”

The only hope, it appears, for the European Commission is to rely on a three-week buffer period that is specified in its rules.

Politico also reported that the lawyers it spoke to were confident that if the deadline was breached, a court would be unlikely to overturn the duties.

This comes amid concerns that the Chinese Communist Party is subsidising domestic car makers to produce EVs, with a view to flooding western markets.

According to analysis from global consultancy firm AlixPartners, it is estimated that the CCP has dolled out £44bn worth in tax breaks and subsidies to its car makers.

Security expert Edward Lucas has warned that Chinese electric vehicles may pose a national security threat to major Western states.

Writing in MailOnline he said the EVs were de facto “mobile surveillance devices”, adding: “The result of China’s ravenous appetite for our data will be that every commercial, political, military and intelligence secret in every Western country is potentially compromised. So too is every facet of our personal privacy, making us vulnerable to blackmail and bullying.

“The truth is that, when it comes to Chinese EVs, our decision-makers are still asleep at the wheel.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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