Brussels, BE: In recent comments, French president Emmanuel Macron has suggested that the European Union should use protectionist measures to defend Europe’s electric car industry. Macron pointed to the fact that rental car companies are buying Chinese electric vehicles and voiced the view that Europe does not have adequate means to protect its manufacturers. Commenting on the statements by the French president, Consumer Choice Center’s Senior Policy Analyst Bill Wirtz says that protectionism is ill-advised:
“If countries such as the United States or China are suspected of unfairly favouring their industries, then France needs to take this up at the WTO level, not trying to emulate their policies within the European Union”, says Wirtz.
“Protectionism is often sold to us as a duty to protect our industries when in reality, it hurts consumers on all sides alike. Consumers need choices on the marketplace to make informed decisions for their own comfort and their pocketbooks. Reducing the number of competitors will only make things worse.”
“Emmanuel Macron’s notion of European sovereignty ought to be about creating a business environment that favours innovation, not the stepping stone for another trade war”, concludes Wirtz.