Some major automakers Tesla, Volvo, Ford and Mercedes-Benz have sued the U.S. government over the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, demanding the refund of the tariffs imposed on imported goods with interest.
These lawsuits filed in the New York Court of International Trade in recent days involve the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office of imposing tariffs on goods imported from China. Tesla said in the documents that the U.S. government’s actions were “arbitrary, capricious and abuse of judgment.” The introduction of the tariff collection bill came as a broader trade dispute between China and the United States, with automakers demanding the abolition of import tariffs on Chinese products and refunding any fees paid for imported parts.
In its documents, Mercedes-Benz accused the U.S. government of “launching an unprecedented, unrestricted, and endless trade war that affected the US$500 billion (S$688 billion) imported from China” commodity prices. Mercedes-Benz believes that U.S. law “does not give the U.S. government the power to initiate a large-scale trade war for a long time or in any way.”
Officials in the office of Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, did not respond to comments.
The U.S. government has been in a trade conflict with China for several months and imposed tariffs on products from China, freeing American manufacturers from the shackles of Chinese technology. China and the United States signed the “Phase One” trade agreement earlier this year, ending some disputes. According to the agreement, China promised to buy US$200 billion worth of American goods, and Washington stopped imposing tariffs on US$160 billion worth of Chinese goods, especially consumer electronics. However, the United States still maintains tariffs on some commodities from China.
The US government hopes to reduce the US-China trade deficit through tariff collection. The U.S. Department of Commerce pointed out that the U.S. trade deficit soared by nearly 11% in July, reaching 63.6 billion U.S. dollars, and the deficit with China climbed to 28.3 billion U.S. dollars.
China is the world’s largest auto market and the main growth driver for many automakers, especially electric car maker Tesla.