China: EU Opens Investigation into Trade Barriers

A new chapter in the commercial dispute between the European Union and China has been opened by Brussels over Chinese electric cars. According to the EU, they receive unfair state aid that distorts competition, which led to the imposition of duties of up to 37.5% on Beijing’s auto industry (to be confirmed in autumn of 2024).

China’s Ministry of Commerce said it is examining whether European Union investigations of Chinese companies constitute “trade barriers.” Thus, China will launch an investigation into “subsidies” and “investment barriers” against the European Union.

“The Ministry of Commerce is investigating the European Union’s practices regarding barriers to trade and investment for Chinese companies,” the ministry said in a statement and will assess whether Chinese companies have lost business in the 27 countries due to investigations initiated by Europe.

The investigation, which began July 10, 2024, will run through January 10, 2025, with a possible extension through April. However, according to Reuters, the ministry’s statement refers not to electric vehicles, but to products related to rail transportation, wind and photovoltaics, and security.