EU, China reach agreement on solar panels dispute

The European Union and China have reached an agreement in the trade dispute involving the cheap imports of solar panels to the 28-nation bloc. The EU imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese producers last month, which were scheduled to spike sharply if no deal was reached before August 6.

The deal was struck at the weekend after Chinese producers agreed to keep their prices above a certain price floor, which will be monitored by the European Commission. It requires the final approval of the European Commission, which is expected to discuss the proposal on August 2, EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht said.

In a statement on July 29, De Gucht said that about 70 per cent of China’s solar panel manufacturers would join the floor price initiative – “will save the anti-dumping duties for a significant volume of sale. However, this relates to a market segment which European suppliers could not cover in any event.”

The rest of the Chinese solar panel manufacturers not participating in the price initiative will pay a 47.6 per cent anti-dumping duty, he said.

“I believe that this solution will remove the injury for European industry. It is equivalent to imposing provisional duties for all Chinese exporters. The effect will be that the European industry will have the space to regain its previously held market share. We restore stability with a sustainable price level in the European market,” De Gucht said.

The settlement is expected to prevent a full-out trade war between the EU and China, which opened its own anti-dumping investigation into European wine sales.

The solar panel industry is also one of the major Chinese exporters to Europe, with Chinese solar panels worth 21 billion euro sold in the EU in 2011, or seven per cent of total chinese export to the bloc.

(Photo: Patrick Moore/ 



The Sofia Globe staff

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