VDA Statement Anti-subsidy Investigation

    VDA President Hildegard Müller on EU-Anti-subsidy investigation:

    Berlin, June 11, 2024

    VDA President Hildegard Müller:

    "The EU's announcement that it will temporarily impose high additional tariffs of up to 38.1% on e-cars from China from the beginning of July is a further step away from global cooperation. This measure further increases the risk of a global trade conflict. It is also a fact that countervailing duties on e-cars imported from China are not suitable for strengthening the competitiveness of the European automotive industry.

    The German automotive industry is in favour of free and fair trade. As a matter of principle, any protectionist measure, including additional tariffs as well as unjustified and market-distorting subsidies, restricts free trade and harbours the risk of trade conflicts that are ultimately detrimental to all sides. The potential damage that could be caused by the measures now announced may be greater than the potential benefits for the European - and in particular the German - automotive industry.

    Today's announcements make it clear that the extent and nature of subsidies in China are a challenge. The Chinese government is therefore now also called upon to signal its willingness to engage in dialogue in view of the facts. It would be expedient if we manage to overcome the existing challenges through dialogue and primarily strive for partnership-based formats and solutions. Importantly, it is also up to China to approach Europe with constructive proposals to consistently and quickly put a stop to behaviour that distorts competition in order to prevent trade conflicts from escalating. It is positive that the EU has already made a corresponding offer for talks.

    The fact is that we need China to solve global problems. This also applies in particular to successfully tackling the climate crisis. China plays a decisive role in a successful transformation towards electromobility and digitalisation - a trade conflict would also jeopardise this transformation.

    Overall, the measures now announced by the EU will not solve the challenges facing the European and German automotive industry; on the contrary, the EU Commission's intention to impose countervailing duties could quickly have a negative impact in the event of a trade conflict. Instead, the focus must now finally be on Europe as an industrial location. Attractiveness as a location and competitiveness are the best prerequisites for a successful transformation and for a leading position in international competition. An active industrial strategy is therefore needed, including an active trade policy. What is needed is an approach that promotes the strengths of our industrialised nation, develops the location to be internationally competitive, opens up new markets, focuses on innovation and thus secures our prosperity and growth as well as a self-confident role on the world stage."

    Press Office

    Benedikt Herzog-Wolbeck