Início Uncategorized Doug Ford calls for tariffs on Chinese EVs: ‘We risk Ontario and...

Doug Ford calls for tariffs on Chinese EVs: ‘We risk Ontario and Canadian jobs’


Premier Doug Ford is calling on the federal government to slap high tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicle imports amid rising concerns that cheap cars could saturate the Canadian market and undercut Ontario’s EV manufacturing sector, along with the billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies to support it.

On Thursday, Ford released a statement warning that China was “flooding” the country with “artificially cheap electric vehicles” that could put auto jobs at risk in Ontario.

“I’m calling on the federal government to immediately match or exceed U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, including at least a 100 per cent tariff on Chinese electric vehicles,” Ford said.

“Unless we act fast, we risk Ontario and Canadian jobs.”

The EU recently threatened to impose tariffs up to 38 per cent on imported Chinese EVs starting on July 4. That came after the U.S. quadrupled important tariffs on electric vehicles made in China to 100 per cent in May.

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The premier’s call for tariffs follows a similar demand by a former diplomat. Last week, former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman urged Ottawa to join the U.S. and the EU in placing tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles.


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“I think what’s important is that Canada and the U.S. become aligned in some of these policies that take place globally, and we’re not always completely aligned,” Heyman said.

Along with the federal government, Ontario has announced billions of dollars in public money to reinvigorate the province’s auto manufacturing sector.

“There’s $46 billion of investment in Canada in this specific product class. Electric vehicles, batteries, in their supply chain,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

Honda, Volkswagen, Stellantis and Ford Motor received either direct infrastructure funding or production-related tax incentives in order to convince the global automakers to choose Ontario as their generational home.

In return, the government is anticipating thousands of direct manufacturing jobs and new positions at spinoff companies as a result.

Progress, however, has been relatively slow and it could still be years before a significant number of Canadian-made or assembled EVs start rolling off the production line.

“The transition, the buildup of these plants, the retooling of current plants, the sourcing of those materials means that this is all going to start to bear fruit in the next one, two, three, five years,” Volpe told Global News.

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Volpe warned that if Chinese-made vehicles could sell in Canada for around $20,000, consumers would naturally be drawn to the cheaper option.

“If we open the door for a competitor … what does it matter if our plants come on line three, four, five or six years from now?” Volpe said.

Those worries sparked a months-long campaign by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association last year to convince officials from the U.S. and Canadian governments to slap tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles — concerns that are now being echoed by Ontario.

“Over the last four years, Ontario has secured $43 billion worth of investments in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, securing hundreds of thousands of good, well-paying jobs,” Ford said in his statement Thursday.

“This has been an all-hands-on-deck achievement, working side-by-side with the federal government and our private-sector labour partners… Now’s the time to protect good, hard-earned Ontario and Canadian jobs by matching U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.”

Asked by Global News about potential tariffs at the 2024 Canada Automotive Summit, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne did not directly comment.

“We’re working with our American friends to make sure that we protect our industry and we will do what it takes to make sure that we have a flourishing industry not only now, but for generations to come,” he said.

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— with files from Global News’ Jillian Piper

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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