Canada is considering new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, in line with U.S. and EU actions

The Canadian government said Monday it is considering plans to impose new tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles as part of a coordinated effort with the United States and the European Union.

On June 24, AFP reported that the Canadian government confirmed it was considering plans to impose new tariffs on electric vehicles imported from China, in line with measures taken by the United States and the European Union. Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a press conference that Canada’s auto industry “faces unfair competition from China’s deliberate overcapacity policies, which are undermining the competitiveness of Canada’s electric vehicle industry in domestic and global markets.”

Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that the Canadian government has not made a final decision on new tariffs but plans to solicit public input on the issue next week.

In May of this year, US President Joe Biden announced that he would raise tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles to 100%, leading China to accuse the US of violating WTO rules. After a lengthy anti-subsidy investigation, the European Union also announced that it would impose additional tariffs of up to 38.1% on electric vehicles imported from China from July.

German Vice Chancellor Robert Harbeck led a delegation of German small and medium-sized enterprises to China last week. Reuters noted that Beijing wants the EU to back down from plans to impose tariffs on Chinese-made electric cars by July 4. The European Commission said it would hold technical talks with Chinese officials in Brussels this week.

According to official data, Canada’s auto industry produces more than 1.5 million vehicles a year and contributes $13 billion to the Canadian economy. Ottawa has built the country’s electric vehicle and battery supply chain through tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and investments. Currently, the only Chinese-made electric vehicle exported to Canada is the American brand Tesla.

Freeland also stressed on Monday that Canada would take steps to “level the playing field, prevent oversupply and prevent (Chinese electric vehicles) from being transshipped through Canada.”

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