Chinese Whispers

Can the EU fend off the threat of Chinese electric cars?

30 min listen

In This Episode

The EU and China are in the foothills of a trade war. After a seven month investigation, the European Commission has announced tariffs of up to 38 per cent on electric cars from China, citing that they’ve found ‘subsidies in every part of the supply chain’. In retaliation, China has ramped up its own investigations into imports from the EU.

This, of course, comes after the US has announced its own 100 per cent tariff on Chinese electric cars.

Listeners will know that Chinese electric cars are becoming ever more competitive. In just three years, the value of the EU’s imports of Chinese EVs have surged tenfold – from $1.6 billion in 2020 to $11.5 billion last year. The Commission has warned that Chinese electric cars could make up 15 per cent of the EU market by next year. 

What are the ramifications of these new tariffs? Is there anything that will reverse this new tide of protectionism? On this episode, I’m talking to Finbarr Bermingham, Europe correspondent at the South China Morning Post, who patches in from Brussels.


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