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Tesla files lawsuit against Trump administration over tariffs

A Tesla sign hangs at the entrance to a Tesla dealership on Sept. 8. Tesla filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Monday demanding a refund on tariffs it has paid on Chinese products. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A Tesla sign hangs at the entrance to a Tesla dealership on Sept. 8. Tesla filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Monday demanding a refund on tariffs it has paid on Chinese products. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Tesla, Inc. sued the Trump administration this week in an effort to keep it from collecting tariffs on parts the electric automaker receives from China.

The lawsuit claims the tariffs are against the law and wants refunds with interest. Tesla filed the lawsuit Monday in New York's U.S. Court of International Trade.

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Mark Morgan were named as defendants in the lawsuit as well.

Tesla pays a 25% tariff on Chinese-made computers and display screens used in its Model 3 electric cars. Lighthizer refused to grant Tesla a wavier on those parts last year. The carmaker also applied for waivers on artificial graphite, silicon oxide and door ring tailor welding blanks, which were all granted but expired in August.

"Increased tariffs on this particular part cause economic harm to Tesla, through the increase of costs and impact to profitability," Tesla wrote in its denied waiver request. "Due to the complexity of the Model 3 car computer and the demanding timelines necessary for Tesla's exponential growth, Tesla is unable to find another manufacturer to meet our requirements."

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