European Union, China Defuse Dispute Over Chinese Solar Panels

EU, China to defuse dispute over Chinese solar panels

11:12 AM, 31st July 2013
European Union News

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM/BEIJING, CHINA: China and the European Union reached a deal to defuse a multi-billion euro dispute over Chinese solar panels that threatened a wider trade war. EU’s trade chief and his Chinese counterpart sealed the deal over the telephone, after six weeks of talks, setting a minimum price for panels from China near spot market prices.

European solar panel manufacturers had accused China of dumping about €21 billion worth of solar panels in Europe last year at below the cost of production, putting European businesses out of business.

Under the terms of the deal, China will also be allowed to meet about half Europe’s solar panel demand, if taken at last year’s levels. EU consumption was about 15 gigawatts in 2012, and China will be able to provide 7 gigawatts without being subject to tariffs under the deal, the EU source said.

The global financial crisis and ensuing euro zone crisis have forced European governments to withdraw generous subsidies for solar energy. That, along with Chinese imports pushing down prices, have sent many European solar companies into bankruptcy.

“We found an amicable solution. I am satisfied with the offer of a price undertaking submitted by China’s solar panel exporters, referring to an agreement for a minimum price for China’s imports,” said Karel De Gucht, Trade Commissioner, EU.

 

© Reuters News

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