US. and European tariffs on car imports from China look similar, but will have different consequences.

欧美对从中国进口的电动车征收关税对策貌似雷同,其实影响很不一样。

America and Europe are heading down different roads in response to China’s emergence as an electric-vehicle juggernaut.

面对中国在电动车的崭露头角,欧美走上不同道路。
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The U.S. is closing its borders to Chinese EVs before they even launch. The Biden administration last month raised the total tariff rate to 102.5% on Chinese EVs, despite extremely low imports. Canada, whose car industry is tightly integrated with the U.S., is considering new tariffs too, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

美国闭关锁国,赶在中国电动车出海之前。尽管拜登政府进口的数量低,上月还将中国电动车总体关税提高到102.5%,汽车产业与美国紧密勾结的加拿大亦设计加税,彭博上周五如是报道。

In case sky-high import duties don’t keep Chinese EVs away—for example if they are built in Mexico to benefit from the country’s free-trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada—Washington also launched an investigation in February to assess their security risks. This could be an even more potent blocking tool. If President Biden loses November’s election, a second Trump administration would likely be even more hawkish.

以防高额进口关税阻挡不住中国电动车进口——比如在墨西哥组装,从而受益于墨美加自由贸易协定——华盛顿还在2月份还启动名为评估中国电动汽车安全风险的调查,或许能成为更加有力的闭关手段。如果在任美国总统乔拜登11月大选中落败,特朗普第二个任期采取的对措可能更加强硬。

Meanwhile in the European unx, additional tariffs announced by Brussels this month will only slow the influx of Chinese EVs. The products need to overcome consumer resistance to unfamiliar brands, which will take time, but the market is open.

欧盟方面,布鲁塞尔本月公布的额外关税只能减缓中国电动车的涌入,这些牌子的产品尚需时日与消费者的喜旧抵新情绪磨合,但市场的门呈敞开状态。

The proposed levels of duty are relatively modest: an additional 17.4% in the all-important case of Chinese market leader BYD. On top of a longstanding 10% tariff, that might close most of the company’s cost advantage compared with European peers, but it probably wouldn’t throw its growth plans off course. Assuming that the company splits the cost impact of the proposed tariff with consumers, Citi estimated that it would still make higher margins in Europe than in brutally competitive China.

欧盟计谋的关税比例相对美国二十步比百步:对分量颇重的中国市场龙头车厂比亚迪征收17.4的额外关税,加上原本长期征收的10%关税,或许会尽数削掉比亚迪较欧洲同行而言的成本优势,但不可能使其增长计划偏离轨道。花旗集团估计,比亚迪在欧洲的利润率仍将高于竞争激烈的中国本土。

And the final tariffs could be lower still. The EV probe is part of a negotiation: China responded last week with its own antidumping investigation into imports of EU pork products. Both initiatives invoke World Trade Organization rules that allow so-called “countervailing duties” on subsidized products. The “Section 301” tariffs used by Washington, by contrast, are a uniquely American tool that is unlikely to lead to any kind of bilateral deal.

最终关税有可能会降低,欧盟调查中国电动车是双方谈判的一个组成部分:中国上星期对从欧盟进口的猪肉产品展开反倾销调查作为回应,两项调查都引用了世界贸易组织的规则 ,即允许对补贴产品征收所谓的反补贴税。华盛顿方面使用的301条款关税则是美国独裁工具,不太可能促成任何形式的双边协议。
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The key effect of EU tariffs would be to speed up an existing trend toward localizing production, as happened when the Reagan administration placed import quotas on Japanese cars in the 1980s. Andrew Bergbaum, a partner at consulting firm AlixPartners, already counts eight planned Chinese EV factories in Europe. As long as they also use a high enough proportion of local parts, they will be able to sell into the region duty-free.

欧盟关税起的主要作用是加速生产本地化趋势,就像里根政府在20世纪80年代对日本汽车实施进口配额时那样。咨询公司人士指出,欧洲手上已握八家中国电动车工厂的建设计划书,只要这几个厂本地零部件使用率足够高,就能在当地免税销售。

There are no more car buyers for these new factories, so the tariffs being introduced to protect European industry against excess Chinese capacity will simply create excess European capacity. This is good news for consumers, who will get deals and wheels, but bad for old-school car manufacturers in what was already a tough market.

欧盟市场购车者数量没有增多,因此为保护工业免受中国产能旺盛影响而征收关税只会造成欧洲产能过剩,对消费者而言却是个易得实惠的好消息,但对本就好艰难就市的老牌汽车厂商来说却是个坏消息。
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The incumbent industry could help itself by sharing plants with the newcomers. Stellantis, which owns brands such as Fiat and Peugeot as well as the Chrysler business in Detroit, last month formed a European joint venture with a Chinese automaker, Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology. The business is starting to use a Stellantis factory in Poland to manufacture Leapmotor vehicles for the European market, according to a recent Jefferies note. In some ways, the approach is a mirror image of the Chinese JVs through which most Western automakers still access the Chinese market.

他们通过与新势力车厂共享工厂自救,旗下有菲亚特和标致等品牌、在底特律有克莱斯勒业务的斯特兰蒂斯上个月与浙江零跑科技合资建厂。报告显示 ,零跑利用其在波兰的一家工厂为欧洲市场造车,某些方面来看,这种做法翻版了大多数西方车厂进入中国市场采用的模式。

The U.S. is borrowing different tactics from China. Tariff increases need to be seen alongside the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which kicked off a new era of Chinese-style industrial policy backed by massive state spending. If the elaborate combination of carrots and sticks works, it will create a whole new EV supply chain to run alongside the Chinese one that dominates today’s industry.

美国却从中国拿来真经。提高关税与拜登政府开启大规模国家支出新时代的产业政策《通胀削减法案》共举,若精心组合的胡萝卜加大棒奏效,它将创造出一个全新的电动车供应链,与如今主导产业的中国供应链并驾齐驱。

But this, too, is a recipe for overcapacity, particularly as it will be tough to keep the supply chains totally separate. Regardless of its growth potential, the EV industry is doomed to low returns by its political sensitivity.

但亦会导致美国产能过剩,供应链相当难保持完全独立。无论其增产潜力如何,电动汽车业的政治敏感性注定回报率低迷。