U.S. denies Tesla tariff relief request for Chinese-made Model 3 ‘brain’

U.S. denies Tesla tariff relief request for Chinese-made Model 3 ‘brain’

FILE PHOTO: A car carrier trailer carries Tesla Model 3 electric sedans, is seen outside the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, U.S. June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration has denied requests to exempt Tesla Inc’s Model 3 from 25% tariffs on its Chinese-made car computer and center screen, according to letters seen by Reuters.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office denied both requests in May 29 letters, saying they both concern “a product strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs.”

The California-based electric vehicle manufacturer had warned that increased tariffs on the car computer it dubbed the “brains” of the Model 3 causes “economic harm to Tesla, through the increase of costs and impact to profitability.” Tesla had also urged the office to approve a request by its supplier SAS Automotive USA Inc, builder of the center display screen for the Model 3.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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