Update: Added a response by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The US government is discussing raising tariffs on some Chinese goods, including EVs, the Wall Street Journal reported. Chinese EVs currently entering the US are already subject to a 25 percent tariff.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The US government is discussing raising tariffs on some Chinese goods, including electric vehicles (EVs), the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chinese EVs entering the US are already subject to a 25 percent tariff, the report noted, adding that raising the tariff likely would have little immediate impact on US consumers.

The Biden administration has retained Trump-era tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese goods, but officials at the White House and other agencies are debating the tariffs again with an eye toward completing a long-running review of the tariffs early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is an upgraded version of US-style protectionism, which China firmly opposes, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said when asked about the matter at today's regular press conference.

China urges the US to abide by WTO rules, maintain a fair trade order, and provide a fair and just, non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises of all countries, he said.

China will closely track the follow-up situation and take measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests when necessary, Wang added.

The US government passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, which included a $7,500 tax credit for consumers purchasing qualifying EVs.

This requires EVs to be built in North America and use locally produced batteries, which puts automakers that import cars at a disadvantage.

Because of US trade protection and concerns about geopolitical risks, Chinese EV makers have largely skipped the US when expanding overseas, focusing instead on Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America.

(OTCMKTS: BYDDF), China's largest new energy vehicle (NEV) maker, has brought its passenger cars to dozens of countries, but has yet to start selling them in the US.

"Currently we don't plan on selling in the US, we need a better understanding of what the next steps are," BYD executive vice president Stella Li said in a December 2022 interview with Bloomberg.

"We'll continue to invest in electric school buses and also battery components but for consumer cars, we haven't got a decision yet," Li said at the time.

In June, Li said in a new Bloomberg interview that the US market was not under BYD's current consideration.

(NYSE: NIO) appears to want to enter the US, but factors including IRA are getting in the way of that idea.

Nio aims to serve users in more than 25 countries and territories around the world by 2025, William Li, the company's founder, chairman, and CEO, said at the December 18, 2021 Nio Day 2021 event.

Li did not announce at the time which of those 25 countries would be included, though subsequent local media reports said it would include core global automotive markets including the US, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

In an interview with German media outlet Heise Autos in October 2022, Nio's Li said Nio planned to enter the US market by the end of 2025, but US policy had complicated matters.

In July, the NIO founder called on the US government to provide Chinese EVs with equal access to the US market in an interview with the Financial Times, arguing that automakers shouldn't get caught up in political tensions between superpowers.

In early November, Nio USA CEO Ganesh Iyer told a conference in New York that the company plans to sell its first car in the US by 2025, as part of its goal to expand to 25 countries and territories.

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