eu steps up solar panels trade battle with china
The European Union launched an investigation into what Chinese solar panel makers call state subsidies on Thursday, fuelling multiple conflicts.
Billions of dollars in solar equipment markets that have strained trade.
EU enforcement agencies are already investigating allegations that Chinese manufacturers are \"dumping\" solar panels in overseas markets, which means deliberately selling products abroad at prices below domestic or below cost.
Earlier, the United States decided to impose tariffs on solar products from China, although Brussels said its decision was completely different from that of Washington.
\"Industry in the US and Europe is becoming more aware that China has more evidence of subsidies,\" said an EU official involved in the investigation . \".
\"But this is not a purely confrontation process.
We have indicated to the Chinese government that we are willing to seek a solution.
\"For both economies, this friction is happening at a bad time, the EU is China\'s largest trading partner, and China is the EU\'s second largest trading partner after the United States.
The European Union\'s trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, complained that China subsidized \"almost everything\", but last month he also told Reuters that he believed the two sides would avoid a trade war.
The latest subsidy case came after the European Union ProSun group filed a complaint against 25 European solar panel companies led by SolarWorld, Germany, which also complained about dumping.
The European Union Prosun said Beijing only provided subsidies to local enterprises, stimulating production there, reaching more than 20 times China\'s consumption and nearly doubling global demand.
Prosun said in a statement on Thursday that the National Development Bank of China has already given 33 billion euros ($42 billion)
12 Chinese solar companies have received cheap credit since 2010.
The Chinese government did not immediately respond to the EU\'s decision to continue its investigation, but the move comes a week after China filed a complaint with the world that the trade organization accused Italy and Greece of illegally favoring domestic solar panel producers in promoting new solar power facilities, and warned that, it may impose tariffs on polysilicon for EU raw material exports.
Chinese enterprises sell about 21 billion euros ($27 billion)
Value of EU solar panels and components in 2011
China\'s exports to the EU account for about 60% of China\'s total exports, accounting for about 7% of China\'s total exports to the EU.
Chinese producers include Yingli Green Energy, Suntech Power Holdings Limited and Trina Solar Limited.
Trina Solar said that the cost advantage of Chinese solar companies is due to their high production levels, resulting in economies of scale, not subsidies from any country.
While it produces a total of more than 1000 MW of PV modules, many European manufacturers produce only a few hundred MW of smaller capacity, the company said.
Western solar companies have been arguing with their Chinese counterparts for years, claiming that they have received generous credit lines to provide modules at cheaper prices, while European solar companies, including the former industry leader Q-
Filed for bankruptcy.
Late Wednesday, the United States finally approved tariffs on billions of dollars in solar cells
China has been protesting China\'s energy products for five years.
\"This decision has seriously distorted the situation in China\'s solar energy industry and the export of Chinese solar energy products to the United States. S.
\"The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Imports and exports mechanical and electrical products, the official Xinhua news agency quoted.
The European Commission can impose temporary tariffs within nine months, and the EU will impose clear tariffs for up to five years within 13 months of the start of the investigation.
Solar panel reverse
Subsidies and counter
EU officials say dumping cases against China could be decided at the same time within 13 months, unless a compromise is reached.