The chairwoman of the Council of Experts for the Assessment of Overall Economic Development, Monika Schnitzer, speaks out against punitive tariffs by the EU against China. Economics Minister Habeck wants to protect “German prosperity” in competition with China.

The head of the economist Monika Schnitzer rejects EU punitive tariffs against China. “That would be the wrong approach for us,” she explains in the “ZDF today journal,” even though such punitive tariffs are extremely popular in the USA.

She also makes it clear: “We don’t want to have a trade war.” “We don’t have any companies that produce small electric cars,” explains Monika Schnitzer in the “ZDF today journal”. We are dependent on appropriate imports if we want to decarbonize. “Conversely, we want to sell our expensive cars, our premium cars, in China,” says Schnitzer.

Economics Minister Habeck is struggling with the issue and wants to wait for the EU decision. He wants to protect “German prosperity” in competition with China. He said that in an interview with FOCUS. He doubts that every Chinese investment is good for Germany, even if it is good for a company. “Do we need to protect certain areas so that they are not sucked dry by system competitors? I say yes.” But that is “of course an intervention in the market,” says Habeck.

After US President Biden’s decision to increase tariffs on Chinese electric cars, the decision for Germany is still pending. Habeck wants to wait for the EU Commission’s upcoming decision: “The EU Commission is currently conducting an anti-subsidy investigation into imports of electric vehicles from China.” The federal government is still waiting for this and then drawing “conclusions” from it.

The Minister of Economic Affairs sees the automotive industry as a “key industry for Germany”. The federal government is working “politically to ensure that it remains here and has a secure future”.

With the announcement of higher US tariffs on electric cars and other Chinese goods, the trade conflict between the US and China is heating up. US President Joe Biden is blocking electric cars from China from entering the US with special tariffs of 100 percent. The US government is also imposing new or significantly increased tariffs on, among other things, solar cells, semiconductors, harbor cranes and medical items such as cannulas and protective masks. China accuses Biden of an election campaign maneuver – and threatens consequences.

China is flooding global markets with artificially discounted exports, according to the US government’s announcement on Tuesday. At the same time, the measures are limited to a few strategically important areas. Biden said during a speech in the garden of the White House: “This is not competition, this is cheating.” According to the US government, imports from China worth $ 18 billion will be affected by the new measures.

Against the background of the debate about punitive tariffs for Chinese products, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has warned against sealing off the markets. “In the end, protectionism just makes everything more expensive,” he said on Wednesday at the IHK day in Berlin. “What we need is fair and free world trade. That’s what I want to say especially these days.”

The Chancellor emphasized that this is particularly important for the German economy, which has experienced unprecedented challenges in the past two years since the Russian attack on Ukraine. “And in this situation we have to ensure that the open markets are not undermined.”