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According to the UK newspaper The Telegraph, the European Commission has joined the growing chorus of global voices calling for China to even its automotive playing field. European Union industry commish Günther Verheugen is threatening to file an official complaint with the World Trade Organization, claiming that the country practices "serious favouritism" via an unethical system of import tariffs.

Apparently, Beijing recently began treating foreign car parts as "fully finished" vehicles, conveniently subjecting them to higher tariffs in the process. Several European manufacturers, VW and Peugeot among them, have complained to the EU, charging that the idea behind the reclassification is to force foreign automakers into buying parts from Chinese suppliers.

Equally as disturbing, China prohibits foreign automakers from establishing themselves within the country without stipulations of joint-ventures with domestic companies. These agreements have potentially parasitic consequences, whereby the local firms can crib advanced R&D and industry trade secrets.


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