Volvo wants Trump exemption for tariffs on China-made XC60 crossover

The Volvo XC60 mid-size crossover accounted for 31 percent of Volvo’s U.S. sales in August.

WASHINGTON — Volvo Cars has asked the Trump administration to exempt the company’s Chinese-made XC60 mid-size crossover from new 25 percent tariffs, the latest automaker to seek relief from new levies on imports from China.

The automaker confirmed on Friday it has sought an exemption with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) for the popular vehicle that accounted for nearly a third of its U.S. sales in August.

“The imposition of the additional 25 percent duty on mid-size SUVs would cause severe economic harm,” Volvo said in an Aug. 16 letter to USTR that has not been previously reported. “The burden of the 25 percent duty imposed on vehicles imported from China will also be borne by American consumers.”

Earlier this week, Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner Geely postponed plans to float shares in the Swedish carmaker, blaming trade tensions and a downturn in automotive stocks.

The XC60 in August accounted for 31 percent of Volvo’s U.S. sales.

Volvo said the XC60 was initially built only in Sweden and then it added production in China. From January to early March, Volvo was sourcing vehicles from both countries but since March U.S. XC60s have only come from China, the company said.

Volvo recently started commercial production at its new Charleston, S.C.., plant, where it is building S60 sedans, it told USTR, “but over time given our global manufacturing footprint we could also anticipate production of the XC60 in the U.S. as well.”

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