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EU Imposes Anti-dumping Tariff On Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturers

The European Commission has this week announced that it is to impose anti-dumping tariffs on solar panel manufacturers in China despite many member countries of the European Union expressing their concern at the ramifications such a measure may have on trade between China and countries in the European Union. Many had been expecting tariffs averaging in the region of 47%.

However, an initial tariff of 11.8% has been announced that came into effect this week that is around 25% of the anticipated figure. This import tariff on solar panel manufacturers in China has been put in place for an initial period of two months in the hope that it will encourage China to come to a compromise. If they do not then the tariffs will increase to an average of 47.6% during August 2013.

It is believed that as a result of China selling their solar panels at below cost to Europe that as many as 25,000 jobs were put at stake within the solar panel industry in Europe.

Karel De Gucht
(image credit: Luc Van Braekel)

Karel De Gucht, who is the European Trade Commissioner, stated: “Our action today is an emergency measure to give life-saving oxygen to a business sector in Europe that is suffering badly from this dumping.” He also commented: “This staggered approach allows a smooth transition for our markets to adapt and it is a one-time offer to the Chinese side, providing a very clear incentive to negotiate. It provides a clear window of opportunity for negotiations, but the ball is now in China’s court.”

Apparently, China has already announced that it is to carry out an investigation into the possibility of wine being exported from European countries into their country at subsidised prices. Does this mean, as many seem to believe, that we are now going to see a trade war developing between China and the member countries within the European Union? Let us hope that we are not and that the matter can be resolved in the coming weeks to all parties’ satisfaction.

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