EU Joining The Chinese Solar Trade War?


European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will likely recommend to his colleagues next week that the EU place tariffs on imported Chinese solar photovoltaic modules, following similar actions that the U.S. took last year.

According to coverage in Reuters, EU commissioners will meet on Wednesday in Brussels, and De Gucht will then pitch his ideas to European trade experts. If the measures take hold, they could be placed into effect by early June.

‘The initial EU duties on Chinese solar panels are likely to be set at 30 percent and above, which would make Chinese exports far less attractive in Europe,’ the Reuters report states.

China exported more than $27.45 billion in solar modules to Europe in 2011. German company SolarWorld has been a vocal opponent of Chinese trade practices, accusing Chinese manufacturers of dumping solar cells and modules, and other balance-of-system components, on the EU market.

SolarWorld, which had quite a footprint in the U.S. with its SolarWorld Americas unit, was a central protagonist in the drama that played out between the U.S. and China during 2011 and 2012.

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