Latest News:  


A growing rift on solar panels

(Beijing Review)

11:29, June 24, 2013

Negotiations are key to avoiding a looming trade war over EU tariffs on Chinese solar products

Despite opposition from 18 EU member states, hundreds of EU solar companies and 15 European photovoltaic (PV) associations, Karel De Gucht, EU's Trade Commissioner, announced on June 4 that the EU would impose provisional anti-dumping tariffs on imports of solar panels, cells and wafers from China.

Karel De Gucht (left), the EU's Trade Commissioner, leans toward the host of a press conference on June 4, during which he announced an anti-dumping investigation on Chinese solar products. (Photo/Xinhua)

This is the preliminary ruling of an investigation launched by the European Commission in September 2012. According to the ruling, starting from June 6, EU imports of Chinese solar products would be subject to an interim duty of 11.8 percent until August 6. If China and the EU fail to reach a settlement by then, the duty will be raised to an average of 47.6 percent until Dec 6, 2013. A final ruling schedule on that day would decide whether to turn the provisional duties into definitive measures in the next five years.

This is not the first time that China's solar makers have encountered trade barriers.

In 2012, the United States imposed anti-dumping tariffs of up to 249.96 percent and anti-subsidy tariffs of up to 15.97 percent on Chinese solar panels. The EU's tariffs, however, are more devastating to China's already vulnerable solar industry as the EU, the world's largest solar market, is China's top destination for solar exports.

European imports of China-made solar products totaled 21 billion euros ($27.89 billion) in 2011, accounting for 70 percent of China's total solar product exports and 7 percent of the total trade volume between China and EU, according to an EU estimation.

Due to the trade dispute, Chinese exports of PV products to EU totaled $11.19 billion in 2012, down 45.1 percent year-on-year. Despite the plunge, the EU is still China's largest solar export destination, accounting for 46.1 percent of total exports in 2012, according to a report from the China Market Report Center under Shenzhen Zero Power Intelligence.

A negotiation troop formed by staff from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products was sent to the EU by the Chinese Government days after the preliminary ruling. But no results had been released to the public by the time this article went to press. Also, the EU's Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht visited Beijing on June 21 to meet Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng to discuss the issue.

As the two sides get ready for negotiations on the matter, it has become evident that a trade war is to no one's benefit. Amid fresh trade tensions, China's PV sector is going through a business reshuffle that features a stronger presence in emerging markets and rising domestic demand.

China on the go

China has opposed the EU's duties and called for solving the dispute through dialogue and consultation.

"China is strongly opposed to the anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the European Commission," said Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the MOFCOM, during a press conference immediately following the European Commission's announcement.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

We Recommend:

'All in Tuning All in Caravanning' Show

HK's new cruise terminal receives luxury liner

Huawei unveils thinnest smartphone in Singapore

Airbus A350 lands safely from test flight in S. France

Special coverage: China-EU solar row

Highlights of ATC Show 2013

Top 10 luxury villas of China in 2013

Turn rabbit to 'gold' - A young entrepreneur's goal

Hilton to open 120 new hotels in China

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. 'Super moon' observed around world

  2. Best photos of week (June 17 - June 23)

  3. Old photos of Vietnam War

  4. Graduation ceremony of future flight attendants

  5. Water gush out of Xiaolangdi Reservoir on Yellow River

  6. Girls locked in cage-like tricycle on way home

  7. Best sports photos: Loli of Spain

  8. Bodyguards train on protecting VIPs

  9. 6th Int'l Auto Show held in Buenos Aires

  10. Soft gold -- gambiered Guangdong silk

Most Popular


  1. China's outbound investment at turning point
  2. Dog meat festival, 'bloody carnival'?
  3. Obama's deeds more important than his words
  4. Social media lures us to throw away privacy barriers
  5. What has the Prism program taught us?
  6. China to sustain prudent monetary policy
  7. SG sees strong China growth momentum
  8. Does China need to consume more?
  9. Chinese audience expects good stories
  10. Moody's warns on China's local government debt

What’s happening in China

Childhood in an isolated sterile room

  1. Blast, fire rock chemical plant in Shanghai
  2. Official paid mistress 10,000 yuan a day
  3. Smugglers becoming more clever in hiding drugs
  4. Man gets death for killing 7 in 9 days
  5. Chinese-Canadian woman 'accidental drown'