China firmly opposes US tariff hike on Chinese goods

China firmly opposes and lodges solemn representations over US further increase of additional tariffs on some Chinese goods.

China firmly opposes and lodges solemn representations over the US further increase of additional tariffs on some Chinese goods, and will take resolute measures to safeguard its own rights and interests, the country's commerce ministry said on Tuesday.

The White House unveiled on Tuesday new tariffs on imports of electric vehicles, solar cells, and other clean-energy products from China, in a protectionist move widely believed to imperil the American ambition to enhance competitiveness and slash carbon emissions.

According to the plan, the tariffs on Chinese EV imports will jump from some 25 percent to 100 percent. And with an additional 2.5-percent tariff on all vehicles imported into the US market, the total levies on Chinese EVs will be an astounding 102.5 percent.

The newly announced tariff hike is mostly a symbolic gesture as the Biden administration is trying to look tough on China amid the increasingly fierce presidential election battle.

The current levies, first launched by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 and reviewed by the Biden administration, have effectively kept Chinese vehicles out of US auto market.

Experts warned that the tariff hike would impede the US administration's ambitious goal to decarbonize the US economy by 2050, as more expensive batteries and EVs for Americans grappling with inflation almost certainly mean that decarbonization will be slower in pace.

In 2022, the US government introduced its most significant climate law in US history, the Inflation Reduction Act, aiming to provide approximately 369 billion US dollars in tax incentives and subsidies for clean energy industries, including electric cars.

Barring low-priced, high-quality Chinese EVs from entering the US market runs counter to US politicians' aim of protecting the US auto industry, but rather harms industry growth and green transition, observers and market insiders said.

US auto industry is years behind China in producing electric cars at a low price, they said, and an environment that eradicates competitors does no good to vitalizing US automakers' new energy innovation.

"Cosy within a market protected by distance and tariffs, and fearful of the wrenching shifts required by both electrification and Chinese competition, many (US automaker) executives would like to believe the whole energy transition thing was just a bad dream," said Bloomberg columnist David Fickling in an opinion piece published Saturday.

According to public reports, US carmaking giants such as Ford Motors and General Motors have either failed to meet their electrification target or reduced spending on EVs.

"Consumers who'd like to get their hands on affordable, clean, and innovative cars will be the ones to lose out," Fickling said.

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