Tesla sues to block Trump tariffs on trade with China

Tesla showroom
Tesla Inc. sued to block the Trump administration from collecting new tariffs on goods the carmaker imports from China.
(Getty Images)

Tesla Inc. has sued to block the Trump administration from collecting tariffs on parts the electric car maker imports from China.

Tesla filed suit Monday in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York, seeking an order declaring the duties unlawful and a refund, with interest, of amounts it has already paid.

The company is challenging actions by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is named as a defendant in the case. Lighthizer’s office last year denied Tesla’s bid to avoid tariffs of 25% on the Chinese-made computer and display screens it uses in its Model 3 electric car.

At the time, Tesla complained the increased costs imposed by the tariffs would cause it economic harm.


In 2018, the company estimated that increased tariffs on parts from China would decrease gross profit by $50 million in the fourth quarter of the year.

The Trump administration’s expansion of tariffs on imports from China, under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, has drawn hundreds of suits in the Court of International Trade.

Lighthizer’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the suit.

The case is Tesla Inc. vs. U.S., 20-03142, U.S. Court of International Trade (New York).