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Risk of trade war looms as solar panel dispute heads to EU

By Song Shengxia (Global Times)

08:36, July 27, 2012

Chinese solar panel manufacturers on Thursday urged the EU to carefully consider an anti-dumping complaint against Chinese solar panel makers by European competitors, while calling on the government to enter into talks with the EU to prevent the dispute from escalating into a trade war.

In a joint statement released Thursday, Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co, Suntech Power Holdings Co, Trina Solar Ltd and Canadian Solar Inc, four major Chinese solar panel manufacturers, said the Chinese solar industry would suffer a fatal blow if the EU were to follow the precedent of the US and launch an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar products.

"The Chinese solar industry does not receive the alleged illegal subsidies or engage in dumping … The investigation would also trigger a whole-scale trade war between China and the EU, which would cause huge losses to both parties," the statement said.

The four companies also called on the Chinese government to enter into high-level dialogue with the EU to block the initiation of the investigation by the EU.

Solarworld AG, Germany's biggest maker of solar panels, filed a complaint with the EU on Wednesday, accusing Chinese manufacturers of selling their products below market value in Europe, the world's largest solar market, Reuters reported Thursday.

Solarworld's US unit has already filed a similar complaint in the US, resulting in preliminary antidumping duties of 31 percent to 250 percent on solar panel imports from China after the US Department of Commerce ruled in May that Chinese manufacturers had dumped their products.

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