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Interview: German association head says new tariffs, protectionism send "wrong signal at wrong time"

Updated: June 4, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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BERLIN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Building up new tariffs and sliding into protectionism sends the wrong signal at the wrong time, the head of a German foreign trade association has said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Michael Schumann, chairman of the Board of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA), noted BWA's longstanding opposition to tariffs, punitive measures, and protectionist policies, particularly concerning e-mobility.

He underscored Germany's lagging progress in transitioning to e-mobility, citing a shortage of cars on the streets and the dominance of expensive electric vehicles as the major challenges.

"Competition, especially with lower-priced models (from China), would accelerate our progress towards our objectives," Schumann said, arguing that such competition would benefit both the automotive industry and consumers, reduce carbon emissions and facilitate the transition to electric vehicles.

Schumann believes that Germany should learn from the success of Chinese electric vehicles, and that both sides should strengthen cooperation in this field. "We would say, and we've been very consistent in arguing, that China's EVs could be beneficial for Europe. They could certainly be beneficial for the transition to e-mobility in Germany."

In light of escalating geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, Schumann reaffirmed Germany's commitment to free trade, balance, and fair trade practices.

He emphasized the importance of maintaining an open attitude and fostering communication and cooperation between China and Germany to achieve mutual benefits and sustainable economic development.

In a survey conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce in China among German enterprises about their future prospects, most respondents believed that within the next five years, they will have a bright and prosperous future in the industry, said Schumann, adding that more than half of the companies surveyed are planning to expand their investment in China.

Editor: Yang Yifan