July 15. 2024. 6:54

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EU rebuffs Chinese businesses’ allegation of misconduct during anti-subsidy probe

The European Commission dismissed on Thursday (13 June) Chinese businesses’ allegations that it repeatedly misused its legal powers during its anti-subsidy probe into electric vehicles produced in China.

On Wednesday, the EU executive announced provisional duties of up to 38.1% on China-manufactured battery electric vehicles, which the anti-subsidy probe it started in October last year found received unfair state support and posed a “threat” to Europe’s own automobile industry.

“All actions taken by the Commission as part of this investigation have been fully in line with applicable EU and WTO standards,” European Commission spokesperson for trade, Olof Gill, told Euractiv.

“This is a targeted, fact-based investigation, and we assessed all information provided by the interested parties in an objective manner,” he added.

Gill’s comments come after Beijing aired a second official reaction to the EU executive’s preliminary tariff decision on Thursday (14 June), with spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce He Yadong stating the country will consider fling a lawsuit at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

More specifically, they come in reaction to a statement by China’s Chamber of Commerce to the EU on Wednesday that “several enterprises and stakeholders have reported misuse of investigative power and misconduct by the [Commission] during the investigation.”

The trade body, representing over a thousand Chinese companies operating across the bloc, accused EU officials of “unreasonable document and information requests beyond the enterprises’ capacity and burden of proof, and insufficient time given to these enterprises to collect requested data and information”.

The Chamber also said the EU executive had failed to rectify “its procedural missteps”.

The latest tariff spat comes amid worsening ties between Beijing and Brussels, which were aggravated by China’s increasingly close links with Russia following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

It also comes amid mounting concern about the risks China’s state-subsidised exports pose to the rest of the world economy, with Brazil, Turkey, and the US all recently having announced steep increases in import duties on Chinese vehicles.

Read more with Euractiv

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to file WTO suit over EU car tariffs

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to file WTO suit over EU car tariffs

Beijing, June 13, 2024 (AFP) — China said Thursday it "reserves the right" to file a suit with the World Trade Organization over planned new EU tariffs on imports of its electric vehicles.

"China reserves the right to file a suit to the WTO and take all necessary measures to resolutely defend the rights and interests of Chinese companies," Beijing’s commerce ministry spokesman He Yadong told a briefing.

The European Union warned on Wednesday it would slap additional tariffs of up to 38 percent on Chinese electric car imports from next month after an anti-subsidy probe, a move that risks provoking a bitter trade war.

The European Commission has proposed a provisional hike of tariffs on Chinese manufacturers: 17.4 percent for market major BYD, 20 percent for Geely and 38.1 percent for SAIC.

The EU said the amount depended on the level of state subsidies received by the firms.

Beijing condemned the move on Thursday as lacking a "factual and legal basis".

"This action not only harms the legal rights and interests of the Chinese electric vehicle industry... but will also distort auto production and supply chains around the world, including in the European Union," He said.

"The actions by the European side are suspected of violating WTO rules and are naked protectionist behaviour," he said.

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