US mulling solar trade agreement with EU, China

Updated: 2013-06-07 10:42


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WASHINGTON - The United States, China and the European Union have had initial discussions on a possible "global" agreement to resolve solar energy disputes, a senior US official said on Thursday.

"There have been some initial discussions with both the European market and China about how to deal with this on a global basis," White House international economic affairs adviser Mike Froman said at a Senate hearing on his nomination to be US trade representative.

The United States last year slapped duties on billions of dollars of solar energy products from China that it said were unfairly priced and subsidized.

The European Union has recently imposed similar duties on the Chinese goods, but has held talks with China on a possible negotiated settlement.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, pressed Froman on the need for a deal covering all three trading partners.

"As you and I have talked about, our country can't resolve this on its own. We've got to have really a global settlement. We've got to have an opportunity for governments to discuss this - ours, China and Europe," Wyden said.