The EV trade war between China and the West heats up

IN the TRADE war between the West and China, a battle over electric vehicles (evs) has begun. In May, as part of a broader volley against Chinese tech, America slapped a 100% duty on Chinese evs. On July 2nd Canada launched a consultation on what it called “unfair Chinese trade practices” in the EV industry. Two days later a provisional tariff of 37.6% on Chinese EVs took effect in the EU. On July 10th, days after the symbolic swipe of opening an anti-dumping investigation into European brandy, China’s ministry of commerce signalled it will not take the assault lying down. It says it will study whether the EU’s tariffs create barriers to free trade.

Western car companies with large Chinese businesses fear getting caught in the crossfire. They would join earlier casualties of the intensifying conflict. Chinese government agencies have been told to tear out software and hardware made by American firms such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, ostensibly on national-security grounds. Some officials have even been told not to buy Apple’s iPhones.

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