China's commerce chief unhappy at EU's anti-subsidy probe

China's commerce chief unhappy at EU's anti-subsidy probe

Reuters — 2023-09-26

Automotive Industry

China's commerce minister expressed strong dissatisfaction in a weekend meeting with the European Union's trade chief that the bloc will launch an anti-subsidy investigation over China's electric vehicles, his ministry said on Tuesday.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis made a four-day visit to the world's second-largest economy to reinforce the 27-member strong bloc's message that while it does not seek to "de-couple" from China, it holds a number of concerns over its trade issues, including the prevalence of government subsidies.

"Wang Wentao expressed serious concern and strong dissatisfaction that the EU will launch a countervailing duty investigation into Chinese electric vehicles," a statement from the commerce ministry said.

"The countervailing measure proposed by the EU side is a protectionist act that will affect China-EU green cooperation and the stability of the global automotive industry."

The European Commission recently declared that it would investigate whether to impose tariffs to shield European producers from a "flood" of cheaper Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports it says benefit from state subsidies.

The EU's trade deficit with China widened to $276.6bn in 2022 from $208.4 bn a year earlier, Chinese customs data shows.