Le Maire Urges Tariffs in Other Areas After EU Acts on China EVs

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union should take measures to deal with Chinese overcapacity in other industries after deciding to impose tariffs on imports of electric vehicles from China, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

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The bloc formally notified carmakers including BYD Co., Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and MG owner SAIC Motor Corp. of the charges on battery-electric cars due to be implemented by July 4, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

“If Europe doesn’t show its teeth on trade, we’ll end up thinking the European market is just a giant shopping mall,” Le Maire said on Sud Radio Thursday. “It’s a first decision that I hope will be followed by others, notably on solar panels, and on other Chinese over-capacities.”

France has long supported levies on Chinese EVs, despite the reluctance of some countries to ratchet up trade tensions. Le Maire warned that there may yet be some opposition to the move, even if a majority voting against the commission’s decision would be needed to block it.

“Let’s not hide from the fact that the battle will be difficult,” he said. “But I want everyone to understand, every member state to understand, that we must re-establish this balance of power with China.”

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