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HomeTRENDING NEWSFacing E.V. Tariffs, China Threatens Pork Imports From Europe

Facing E.V. Tariffs, China Threatens Pork Imports From Europe

Acting quickly after the European Union imposed extra tariffs of up to 38 percent on China’s electric cars, Beijing opened a trade case on Europe’s pork.

China on Monday threatened to impose tariffs on pork imports from Europe, in what appeared to be retaliation for the European Union’s decision last week to impose preliminary tariffs on electric cars imported from China.

China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that it had opened an investigation into whether pork from the European Union was being dumped in China at unfairly low prices. The case could result in tariffs on dozens of products, from pork chops to pickled pig intestines.

The ministry said it was acting in response to an application from the China Animal Agriculture Association, a government-affiliated group, and released a copy of the request. The association accused the European pork industry of benefiting from inappropriate government subsidies as it suffered from overcapacity — the same accusations that European and American officials have leveled against China’s car industry.

Olof Gill, a spokesman for the European Commission, said in a statement that the European Union’s executive arm was analyzing China’s action and would “follow the proceeding very closely in coordination with E.U. industry and member states, and intervene as appropriate to ensure that the investigation fully complies with relevant” World Trade Organization rules.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, a business group, said in a statement that China’s action was not a surprise after the European Union’s recent electric vehicle tariffs. The chamber added that it “encourages both sides to take action to depoliticize the business environment and find ways to address the underlying causes.”

The E.V. tariffs have been a divisive issue in Europe. Labor unions and European auto parts producers have been worried about job losses as China’s electric car exports to the continent rise quickly. But European automakers like Volkswagen have been expanding electric car production in China and shifting their purchasing from Europe to low-cost Chinese suppliers. They have been wary that trade frictions may prompt China to target imports of luxury cars from Europe next.

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