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‘Ban Chinese Electric Vehicles From The US’: Senator

‘Ban Chinese Electric Vehicles From The US': Senator

US President Jo Biden has been urged to ban all Chinese-made vehicles from US roads, amid claims they are an “existential threat to the American auto industry”.

The chair of the Senate Banking Committee, Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown, demanded “expeditious” action, in what is the strongest call yet for curbs on China’s automakers by a US lawmaker.

“I implore you to take bold, aggressive action and to permanently ban EVs produced by Chinese companies or whatever subsidiaries they establish to conceal their origins,” Brown said.

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In March, Biden said that China’s policies “could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security” and that he would “not let that happen on my watch”.

Brown’s comments arguing for a permanent ban of Chinese EVs from the US market are the strongest yet by any US lawmaker on the issue. Others have called for steep tariffs to keep EVs out of the United States.

Last month, Brown and Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan – all from auto-producing states – called on Biden to drastically hike import tariffs on Chinese EVs to address national security risks. 

Concerns have also been raised by lawmakers and advocates that Chinese automakers could assemble low-cost vehicles in Mexico to allow them to qualify for US EV tax credits.

Auto industry officials told Reuters in February that Biden is considering hiking tariffs on Chinese EVs and the letter is the latest in growing pressure on the White House to take further steps to prevent Chinese vehicle imports.

China Rejects Tariffs Call

In March, the US Commerce Department opened an investigation into whether Chinese vehicle imports pose national security risks and could impose restrictions due to concerns that “connected” car technology could put the data of Americans at risk.

“We are going as fast we can to identify the risks and take any actions we think are national security concerns,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters last month. “If China is subsidising the vehicles in a way that puts American workers at a disadvantage we have to do something about that.”

Two Republican senators have also proposed legislation seeking to hike tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles, though relatively few Chinese vehicles are imported into the United States.

The Chinese embassy in Washington has previously rejected calls to hike tariffs, saying China’s automobile exports “reflect the high-quality development and strong innovation of China’s manufacturing industry.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in November urged US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to boost tariffs on Chinese vehicles.

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

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Sean O’Meara

Sean O’Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.