China Slaps Ford Joint Venture With Huge Fine as Trade War With US Escalates

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanExecutives and guests gather for a group photo at the Ford booth during the Auto Shanghai 2019 show in Shanghai Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Executives and guests gather for a group photo at the Ford booth during the Auto Shanghai 2019 show in Shanghai Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - Sputnik International
Trade disagreements between the US and China emerged last June after President Donald Trump decided to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in a bid to fix the trade deficit.

Chinese authorities have imposed a $23.6 million fine on Ford's joint venture with Changan Automobile for "price fixing" as trade tensions between the Asian country and the US are gaining momentum.

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According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation, Changan Ford "set a minimum resale price" in 2013 for vehicles sold in the city of Chongqing in a move that "deprived dealers of pricing autonomy… and damaged fair competition and legitimate interests of consumers".

The joint venture is a 50/50 split between the US car producer and the Chinese state-owned Changan Automobile Group.

Commenting on the ruling, a Ford representative said that "Changan Ford respects the decision taken by the State Administration for Market Regulation".

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Last June, Trump ruled to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in a bid to balance the trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of duties.

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Most recently, Washington raised tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent last week. Beijing retaliated by announcing tariff hikes of up to 25 percent on $60 billion worth of US imports starting in June.

Besides the tariff war, in May US President Donald Trump issued an executive order adding China's Huawei and its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist, thereby restricting its activity in the country. Following the ruling, several US tech giants, including Google, Intel, and Microsoft announced suspensions of ties with the Chinese company.

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