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Is A Solar Settlement Looming Between The EU And China?

If you have any involvement in the solar panel industry you are almost certainly going to be aware of the temporary import tariff that was recently imposed by the European Commission on Chinese manufacturers of solar panels. It is believed that this is what prompted China to start their own investigation into wine coming into China from countries in the European Union.

However, it would appear that both sides are endeavouring to reach a negotiated settlement. Perhaps that is because the temporary tariff of 11.8% is due to be replaced with one averaging around 47% on the 6th August 2013 that could then remain in force for a further five years if the situation cannot be resolved. China would surely not wish their solar panel manufacturers to be faced with such a tariff.

Karel De Gucht
(image credit: Luc Van Braekel)

Apparently, Karel De Gucht, who is the EU Trade Commissioner, has made reference to the solar panel dispute at a news conference after the 27th EU-China Joint Committee meeting that has taken place today in Beijing. He has made it clear that he wishes to see an amicable solution to the dispute with China and that both the EU and China are working towards such a goal. However, he pointed out that negotiations are at an early stage and disputes of this kind are not usually resolved overnight.

He also said: “As I have stated time and time again during the course of the investigation, the EU has only one wish: to find a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible on the basis of ‘undertakings’ that can remove the injury caused by the dumping on our market: nothing more, nothing less.”

Apparently, technical-level discussions with a view to negotiating a settlement started in Brussels earlier in the week and have now continued in Beijing.

Gao Hucheng, who is the Chinese Commerce Minister, has intimated at the same news conference that the talks have been constructive and positive with all parties wishing to address the solar panel dispute and continue to work towards this.

The 6th August 2013 will soon be upon us so let us all hope that negotiations progress as quickly as possible.

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