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Elon Musk speaks against US tariffs on Chinese electric cars

Elon Musk speaks against US tariffs on Chinese electric cars

Elon Musk speaks against US tariffs on Chinese electric cars

Elon Musk speaks against US tariffs on Chinese electric cars

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  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk opposes US tariffs on Chinese EVs, following President Joe Biden’s quadrupled levies.
  • The White House announced a 100% tariff on EVs from China last week to protect US jobs and counter unfair policies.
  • China has expressed opposition to the tariff hikes and announced intentions to take retaliatory measures.
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At a technology conference in Paris via video link, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated his opposition to US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), just days after President Joe Biden quadrupled levies on EVs imported from China. “Neither Tesla nor I requested these tariffs,” remarked the multi-billionaire.

Last week, the White House announced new measures, including a 100% tariff on EVs from China, in response to unfair policies and to protect US jobs. This stance contrasts with a warning made by Mr. Musk in January, where he cautioned that Chinese car makers would “demolish” competitors from other countries if there were no trade barriers.

“I was surprised when they were announced. Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good,” Mr Musk said on Thursday.

“Tesla competes quite well in the market in China with no tariffs and no deferential support. I’m in favor of no tariffs,” he added.

Last week, Mr. Biden pledged to not allow China to “unfairly control the market” for electric vehicles and other crucial goods, such as batteries, computer chips, and basic medical supplies, while maintaining several tariffs on China introduced by his predecessor Donald Trump, and escalating trade pressure on Beijing.

China expressed opposition to the tariff hikes and announced its intention to take retaliatory measures. This week, China initiated an anti-dumping probe into imports of widely used plastic from the US, EU, Taiwan, and Japan.

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The Ministry of Commerce’s announcement to investigate imports of polyoxymethylene copolymer, which is utilized in electronics and cars, was interpreted as a signal that China intends to retaliate in its trade disputes with the US and Europe.

This week, China indicated the possibility of imposing tariffs of up to 25% on cars with large engines imported from the EU and US. The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU reported being informed about this potential move by what it termed “insiders”. The European Commission (EC), responsible for overseeing the EU’s trade policies, has set a deadline of 4 July to determine whether to impose measures against imports of Chinese-made EVs.

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