China is engaged in ‘deliberate' efforts to undermine the U.S. and Europe, says EU envoy Gitenstein

Watch CNBC's full interview with Mark Gitenstein, U.S. ambassador to the EU

Mark Gitenstein, the U.S. ambassador to the EU, said China is deliberately distorting markets with a glut of cheap goods.

Speaking to CNBC’s Silvia Amaro on Tuesday, Gitenstein said China was “engaged in a deliberate effort to undermine economic sectors in both Europe and the United States.”

The Chinese Embassy in London did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.

The ambassador’s comments come as the Biden administration on Tuesday announced a hike in tariff rates on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, including increasing tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles from 25% to 100%.

It comes amid growing concerns over a raft of cheap Chinese “green” goods — such as EVs, batteries and solar panels — flooding international markets.

White House officials have already warned Beijing to amend certain trade practices that it argues have weakened global supply chains. Meanwhile, last year, the European Commission launched an investigation into Chinese EVs and raised the possibility of introducing its own “anti-subsidy duties” in the future.

Gitenstein said that both European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have “talked extensively about the problem of overcapacity in the People’s Republic of China and how it’s distorting our markets in the United States and their markets in Europe.”

“We’re going to protect our workers and we’re going to protect our sectors of the economy that are being attacked basically by the PRC [People’s Republic of China], especially in the green tech area,” he added.

— CNBC’s Rebecca Picciotto contributed to this report.

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