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Beijing Targets EU Pork and Brandy as Tariffs on Chinese EVs Take Effect

China is proceeding with anti-dumping investigations of EU imports, targeting brandy and pork imports from the bloc, as the tariff spat entered a new phase on Friday with the start of the provisional EU tariffs on imports of China-made electric vehicles.

China’s Commerce Ministry said on Friday that it would hold a hearing later this month on its ongoing investigation into EU brandy imports. In another probe, China is investigating anti-dumping allegations for imported pork and its by-products from the European Union.

The brandy probe appears to target France, while the pork imports investigation is likely aimed at Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark, analysts say.

With these tit-for-tat probes, China appears to be trying to force Spain’s and France’s hand in the EV tariff issue and have them persuade other EU members to drop the tariffs.

Germany’s auto industry has already said that the provisional tariffs, which came into effect on July 5, are not in the EU’s interest.

The EU launched in October 2023 anti-subsidy investigations into EU imports of EVs from China to determine whether the value chains in China benefit from illegal subsidies.

Last month, the European Commission “provisionally concluded that the battery electric vehicles (BEV) value chain in China benefits from unfair subsidization, which is causing a threat of economic injury to EU BEV producers.” 

The provisional import tariffs – which come on top of an existing 10% duty – are for a maximum duration of four months.  

“Within that timeframe, a final decision must be taken on definitive duties, through a vote by EU Member States. When adopted, this decision would make the duties definitive for a period of five years,” the Commission said on Thursday.

VDA, Germany’s automakers’ association, said this week that the “stated goal of ensuring fair competition conditions and protecting the domestic industry from unfair practices will not be achieved” by the anti-subsidy tariffs.

“The European anti-subsidy tariffs would not only affect Chinese manufacturers but also European companies and their joint ventures in particular,” VDA said, adding that the introduction of the tariffs “will lead to countermeasures and retaliatory measures and carries a real risk of escalating the trade conflict with China.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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