Cooperation, not tariffs, beneficial for EU, China: experts say

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 16, 2024
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The European Union (EU)'s plan to impose provisional additional tariffs on imports of battery electric vehicles (EVs) from China is detrimental both to the development of European auto manufacturers and to EU consumers, Croatian and Hungarian experts have said.

Building a barricade is not the solution, said Hrvoje Prpic, president of the Croatian EV Drivers Association, in a recent interview with Xinhua. He added that while the high EU tariffs might make European manufacturers face less competition from China in the short term, they would stand in the way of these manufacturers catching up with the development of the EV industry.

Chinese EV technologies, especially in Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, have advanced greatly, Prpic noted.

The European Commission on Wednesday revealed a list of protectionist duties of up to 38.1 percent to be imposed on EVs imported from China.

It is European consumers who will pay the price, Prpic warned, as the tariffs will make Chinese EVs much more expensive.

Moreover, Prpic said the EU tariffs would have little effect on Chinese EVs as the Chinese EV industry has shown incredible adaptability under unfavorable circumstances. Chinese EVs, which are both cheap and of good quality, will no doubt be able to find a market elsewhere in the world, he added.

The EU should choose to cooperate with China to make "cheaper and better" EVs rather than resorting to such "outdated and ineffective" means as tariffs, he stressed.

Meanwhile, Zoltan Kiszelly, director of the Center of Political Analysis at Hungary's Szazadveg Institute, has said "If we return to restrictions in international trade in the age of globalization, it means the world is moving towards decoupling rather than connectivity."

Trade restrictions are "definitely harmful" because they not only limit innovation within European companies but also stifle science, culture, and political and security cooperation, he emphasized.

"The West's detachment from the developing pole of the global economy means Europe does not progress, while Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, which is now industrializing, progresses," Kiszelly said.

Regarding the rising popularity of Chinese electric vehicles in Europe, Kiszelly said that China has invested heavily in EV innovation over the past decade. "Chinese cars have combined European car manufacturing experience, especially German, with Asian digital and entertainment demands, creating a superior product in terms of software and applications," he added.

On Hungary's welcoming stance towards Chinese EV manufacturers such as BYD and NIO, Kiszelly told Xinhua "The Hungarian government has chosen a connectivity policy, aiming to be a bridge between East and West."

"Hungary provides a stable and predictable environment, avoiding the sanctions mechanisms seen in Brussels, making it an attractive location for industries, including the automotive sector," he added.

Regarding the global advantages of China-EU cooperation in new energy, Kiszelly emphasized that China's manufacturing capacity could help the EU achieve its climate neutrality goals faster. "This cooperation not only creates jobs and tax revenue but also contributes to global climate goals by accelerating the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles," he said.

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