EU: Anti-dumping probe into China solar panels

Sep 6, 2012, 4:10 PM

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels on Thursday after an industry association claimed the products were being exported for less than it costs to make them.

The complaint, filed in July by a group of 25 producers of solar gear, including companies from Germany, Italy and Spain, is the biggest-ever anti-dumping claim filed with the EU.

China, the world’s largest producer of solar panels, accounts for about two-thirds of global production. It exported solar panels and associated key components worth around (EURO)21 billion ($26.5 billion) to the 27-nation bloc in 2011, the EU said in a statement.

Rivals accuse Chinese companies of selling their products to other markets at a price less than what they charge in China, operating at a loss in order to put competitors out of business.

Chinese manufacturers of solar _ or photovoltaic _ panels have denied this, noting that the industry is in the midst of a radical transition as the cost of such products drop.

In the United States, where a separate anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case has been under way for about a year, the coalition of American solar manufactures applauded the EU move.

The EU investigation is expected to last 15 months, but that if there is strong early evidence of dumping that it is possible to impose temporary tariffs within nine months, the bloc said.

EU Commission spokesman John Clancy said the bloc’s executive was legally obliged to open the probe after receiving a valid complaint from an industrial grouping.

“This is part of a mature trading relationship,” Clancy. “Trade defense is part of this relationship.”

The EU opens an average of about 20 anti-dumping import cases a year. Just over half of them result in the imposition of duties.

In Beijing, China’s Ministry of Commerce expressed “deep regret,” and urged the EU to resolve trade frictions over solar panels through negotiations.

“Restricting photovoltaic cells not only hurts the interests of industries on both sides but also will destroy the healthy development of the global PV (photovoltaic) industry and clean energy,” spokesman Shen Danyang said in a statement.

China has a history of retaliating against trade complaints by filing their own complaints against the foreign companies, which competitors say are frivolous.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the issue with Chinese officials during her visit to Beijing last week. Germany prefers solving this problem through negotiations, rather than an EU investigation.

In May, the U.S. Commerce Department decided to levy tariffs against several Chinese manufacturers, alleging they illegally sold their products below cost.

A preliminary assessment from the U.S., which imported more than $3 billion in solar cells and panels from China last year, said China was dumping the products on the U.S. market at margins ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent, and levied temporary tariffs to counteract the distortion.

Two U.S. agencies will issue their final determinations over the next two months.

“We believe that, similar to the United States, the European Union will come to the conclusion that the Chinese are violating EU and international trade law,” said Gordon Brisner of the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.

___

Joe McDonald in Beijing and Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

A fisherman watches smoke rise after Russian forces launched a missile attack on a military unit in...
Associated Press

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit by drone strike

An explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.
10 days ago
Medical syringes are seen with 'Monkeypox' sign displayed on a screen in the backgound in this illu...
Associated Press

Monkeypox declared a global emergency by UN health agency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.
18 days ago
Chinese paramilitary policemen march in front of the Japanese embassy where the Japanese flag is fl...
Associated Press

Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

TOKYO (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s […]
1 month ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

One scandal too many: British PM Boris Johnson resigns

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Sponsored Content by

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
EU: Anti-dumping probe into China solar panels