SMM: it is reported that Tesla filed a lawsuit against the US Trump administration and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the International Trade Court in New York on Sept. 21 to prevent the US government from imposing tariffs on Tesla's imports from China. Tesla hopes the court will invalidate the two batches of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and ask the government to refund the duties and interest paid by Tesla.
The two tariffs mentioned by Tesla are List 3, which took effect in 2018 and List 4, which imposed a 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports and the latter, which took effect in 2019, imposing a 7.5 per cent tariff on $120 billion of Chinese imports. Both lists contain hundreds of very specific categories, from raw materials to electronic components. The lawsuit did not say which products Tesla paid duties on, nor how many duties were paid. Tesla and the USTR did not immediately respond to requests for comment as of press time.
Lawyer Tesla said in a document on September 23 that the USTR did not provide a meaningful opportunity to comment, failed to take relevant factors into account in making decisions, and failed to rationally link objective facts to choices made. In addition, the lawsuit named Mark Morgan, acting Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection, as a defendant.
As part of the tariff process, companies have the right to request exemptions from certain items. Tesla applied for tariff exemptions for artificial graphite, silicon oxide and door knocker custom welded panels in 2019, all of which expired in August 2020, according to the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
In 2019, US trade officials rejected Tesla's application for tariff exemption for Model 3 car computers and screens, saying the parts used technology of strategic importance to China's national security programs. Tesla said the part affected was the "brain" of his autopilot system.
Tesla said in the application: "raising the tariff on this particular component will increase costs and affect profitability, thus causing damage to Tesla." Due to the complexity of the Model 3 automotive computer and the harsh time frame required for Tesla's exponential growth, Tesla was unable to find other manufacturers to meet the requirements. "