China Imposes Sanctions on Some US Companies, Threatens Retaliation Against Europe

Beijing threatens to raise customs duties by 25% applied to imports of European cars

Un salone di Tesla a Pechino

The trade war between China and the US-EU tandem is heating up. Following President Joe Biden’s steep increase in customs duties, which virtually banned exports of numerous Chinese manufactured goods to US markets, from metals to electronics to electric cars, Beijing is also moving from threats to concrete responses.

China first said it would impose sanctions against “a number of US defense companies,” as well as their top executives, in response to Washington’s “economic coercion” against Chinese companies that Washington accuses of supporting Russia in its armed conflict with Ukraine.

“The United States has indiscriminately imposed illegal and unilateral sanctions against a number of Chinese organizations,” Beijing’s foreign ministry said in a statement, announcing “countermeasures” and condemning that “at the same time, the United States continues to sell arms to Taiwan.”

Moreover, China has hypothesized the first concrete responses to customs barriers that the European Union would also like to impose after the USA. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Brussels published a statement on X social network (former Twitter) about the duty rates on European car exports to China. In addition, tariffs may be raised on imports of cars with engine capacity “over 2.5 liters,” which currently account for more than 30% of total car imports from China. The decision will primarily affect Germany’s auto industry, whose profits in the first three months of 2024 fell 20% compared to the same period of last year.