Canada considers countermeasures after U.S. imposes tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles

François-Philippe Champagne

18th May 2024 – (Ottawa) François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Industry Minister, has indicated that Ottawa is exploring all possible measures in response to the recent announcement by the United States to increase tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and related goods. In an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, Champagne stated that Canada is committed to protecting its industry and workers, and did not rule out the imposition of similar tariffs. He emphasised the close collaboration between Canada and the U.S. in this regard.

President Joe Biden recently unveiled plans to gradually introduce tariffs on Chinese imports, including EVs, advanced batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminium, and medical equipment over the next three years. Concerns have been raised that the affordability of Chinese EV models, supported by government subsidies, may flood the U.S. market. Consequently, Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, stressed the need for Canada to implement comparable trade levies to prevent any unfavourable impacts on the Canadian automotive sector.

Champagne assured that Canada will not serve as a gateway for China to access the North American EV market, asserting that the U.S. understands and supports this position. The Canadian government has been actively attracting investments from major automotive manufacturers to stimulate domestic EV production. In line with these efforts, Asahi Kasei Corp. and Honda recently announced the construction of a $1.6 billion EV battery plant in Port Colborne, Ontario.