Tesla, Volvo, Ford and Mercedes accuse US of ‘illegal’ tariffs

Tesla, Volvo, Ford and Mercedes-Benz have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration aimed at ending what Tesla’s electric car maker Elon Musk called “illegal” tariffs imposed on some parts imported from China.

The lawsuits, filed in New York this week, target the 25% tariffs imposed by the U.S. trade representative on a list of products, including parts such as terminals. Tesla’s filing with the International Trade Tribunal said the contributions were “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.” Could the US and Chinese economies really be “disconnected”?

The lawsuit cites the U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, as the defendant. His office last year rejected Tesla’s request to exempt tariffs on computer and screen screens imported from China that it uses in its electric car in the model. The company, which was funded by Elon Musk, said it would hurt if it had to pay higher costs for parts.

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Tesla is seeking to cancel them along with a “refund, with interest” on duties already paid, according to the filing. In its testimony, Mercedes accused the Trump administration of “prosecuting an unprecedented, unrestricted and unlimited trade war that affected over $500 billion in imports from the People’s Republic of China.”

The US trade department said the country’s trade deficit in July rose nearly 11% to $63.6 billion. with the deficit with China rising to $28.3 billion. China is the world’s largest car market and the main driver of growth for many car makers – especially for Tesla, which intends to take advantage of the country’s ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions.

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