Possible EU punitive solar duties opposed

Updated: 2013-05-10 01:28

By DU JUAN and DING QINGFEN (China Daily)

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Chinese photovoltaic panel manufacturers face import tariffs of up to 67.9 percent in Europe

China is firmly opposed to any punitive duties set by the European Union targeting Chinese solar companies, and the government will defend the rights of domestic companies, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday.

"China expects the EU to be cautious in taking any sort of measures," said Yao Jian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, during a news conference. "We don't want to see a trade war."

As major trade partners, China and the EU should resort to dialogue and consultations to resolve frictions, he said.

Chinese photovoltaic solar panel manufacturers face import tariffs of up to 67.9 percent at EU borders under a plan from the 27-nation bloc's executive body.

The tariffs could range from 37.3 percent to 67.9 percent, and could be 47 percent on average, the European Commission draft proposes.

"The proposed tariffs are much higher than the forecasts by Chinese industrial insiders," said Gao Hongling, deputy secretary-general of the China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance.

She told China Daily that most Chinese solar panel manufacturers have heard about the plan, but that she hasn't received any official announcement yet.

Meanwhile, industry insiders have suggested that Chinese companies will jointly protest against the planned tariffs along with their German counterparts who believe that the proposed move would hurt the European solar industry, she said.

However, nothing has been finalized, she added.

Following the US decision to impose punitive tariffs on PV solar products from China of up to 249.96 percent in November, the EU started an investigation into alleged government subsidies for Chinese solar panel makers.

The EU is due to issue a preliminary anti-dumping ruling in coming weeks and an anti-subsidy ruling in August.

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