National economy minister: Hungary rejects ‘brutal EU tariffs’ on Chinese EV makers

Hungary does not agree with a European Commission proposal to impose "brutal" tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle makers, "exaggerated protectionism is not the solution", the national economy minister said in Budapest on Wednesday.

The European Commission on Wednesday published a draft package on electric vehicles imported from China, including stiff tariffs between 17.4 and 38.1 percent imposed individually on various manufacturers, besides the 10 percent already paid by manufacturers.

According to a ministry statement, Nagy slammed the proposal as “doubly discriminative, against China and certain manufacturers… Such a tariff system causing extreme discrimination is almost unprecedented,” he said.

Rather than increasing protectionism, Hungary’s government would focus on cooperation and free competition, Nagy said. Rather than curbing competition through tariffs, the EU should bolster the global competitiveness of the European vehicle industry, he said. “There can be no strong EU without a strong competition,” he added.

Hungary is drafting a European action plan to speed up the spread of e-vehicles and to boost competition, to be presented to member states at the next meeting of the Competitiveness Council on July 8-9, he said.

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