Trump’s Imposes Lasting Tariffs On Chinese Electric Cars

Tesla charging point in Beijing
Tesla cut prices for Model 3 electric cars in China for the third time since November. (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Michael Dunne, chief executive officer of consultancy ZoZo Go, said that United States President Donald Trump is likely to counter the incoming dominance of Chinese electric vehicles by targeting the technology with stiff new tariffs that will have staying power.

Mr. Dunne said in a speech to the Automobile Press Association on Monday in Detroit that he expects that President Trump will keep tariffs on electric cars as high as he possibly can. He added that Trump can see all this capacity gathering in China, and they're bound to want to export to the United States.

The Chinese government is focused on its investment to dominate the globe in electric vehicles. According to Mr. Dunne, last year, Chinese consumers purchased 1.2 million battery-powered autos, compared with about 350,000 in the U.S. Trump's tough tariff talk, which has unsettled the Chinese government as much as it has rattled markets, is aimed at protecting technological innovation in the United States.

Dunne remarked that the president believes that by threatening tariffs, this really puts a scare into the Chinese, and it seems to have gotten their attention. He noted that the tariffs are almost a psychological tactic to undercut the confidence of the average Chinese businessman and consumer. He said that the real story remains technology and tariffs are almost a decoy, technology is what the trade negotiators are working on.

Data from CleanTechnica showed that the number of electric vehicles (EVs) sold in China increased from 117, 000 in Q1 2018 to 254,000 in Q1 2019. It increased by 118 percent year on year. The sales of fossil fuel-powered car sales in China declined by almost 15 percent year-on-year.

The resolve of the Chinese government to lead nations globally in the use of renewable energy bolstered the growth of electric vehicles in the country. Contrary to the United States who dismissed the idea of climate change, the Chinese government rolled out initiatives to help minimize the use of fossil fuel in its transportation sector. The Chinese government announced a quota for car makers that produce more than 30,000 cars to manufacture or import at least 10 percent electric cars this year.

China surpassed the United States in the development of electric vehicles. The recent announcement of the president clearly shows that the United States uses every possible move to counter the dominance of China's technology. The United States accuses China of backpedaling on commitments made during the negotiations.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts