Scholz urges EU and China to ‘seize opportunity’ in tariff talks

BERLIN: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday (June 24) urged China and the EU to “seize the opportunity” after the two sides began talks to resolve a row over proposed tariffs on imported Chinese electric cars.

The European Union warned this month that it would slap additional duties of up to 38 per cent on Chinese electric vehicle imports from July after an anti-subsidy probe, in a move that risks provoking a bitter trade war.

At the weekend, the EU said its trade chief and his Chinese counterpart held “candid and constructive” talks on the issue, with the two sides to have further consultations.

Speaking at the annual conference of the influential BDI industry lobby, Scholz said it was “important” for the EU and Beijing to “seize the opportunity by the end of the month… to reach an understanding”.

“There is still a little time” until the tariffs come into force, he added.

Germany has been rattled by the EU’s move, as its auto makers have massive investments in China that could be affected by any retaliatory measures, and has expressed hope the dispute can be resolved via negotiations.

Scholz also stressed however there would need to be “serious movement and progress from the Chinese side” for an agreement to reached. 

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