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  • Voltaire Staff

'Didn't ask for these tariffs,' says Musk on latest US restrictions on Chinese EVs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has opposed the recent increase in tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) by the United States government, saying his company can do just well without them.  

His comment comes shortly after President Joe Biden quadrupled tariffs on EV imports from China.

Musk's stance contradicts his earlier warning in January about the potential dominance of Chinese car manufacturers in the absence of trade barriers.

The White House, citing unfair policies and aiming to safeguard American jobs, implemented new measures including a 100 per cent tariff on EVs from China last week.

"Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs", he told a technology conference in Paris via video link.

"In fact, I was surprised when they were announced. Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good," Musk said.

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

Biden has kept several tariffs on China that were initiated by his predecessor, Donald Trump, and has intensified trade pressure on Beijing.

Recently, he pledged to prevent China from "unfairly controlling the market" for electric vehicles and other crucial products like batteries, computer chips, and basic medical supplies.

China has opposed the tariff increases and threatened retaliatory actions.

It has also initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of a commonly used plastic from the US, EU, Taiwan, and Japan this week.

Anti-dumping duties are tariffs imposed by a government on imported goods that are being sold at prices lower than their fair market value, typically with the intention of protecting domestic industries from unfair competition. These duties are often implemented when a country believes that foreign companies are "dumping" their products onto the market at prices below what they would charge in their home market.

Its Ministry of Commerce's announcement of an investigation into imports of polyoxymethylene copolymer, commonly used in electronics and cars, was viewed as a sign that China intends to retaliate in its trade disputes with the US and Europe.


Earlier this week, China hinted at imposing tariffs of up to 25 per cent on cars with large engines imported from the EU and US.

The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU revealed that it had received information about this potential move from insiders.


Meanwhile, the European Commission, responsible for the EU's trade policies, has set a deadline of July 4 to decide whether to impose measures against imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs).

Image Source: Unsplash




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