Fri, Jul 27, 2012 - Page 15 News List

China solar firms say EU move signals trade war

Reuters, BEIJING

China’s solar firms warned of a trade war yesterday, calling on the Chinese government to respond with all means to an anti-dumping complaint filed by European competitors that they said could be a fatal blow.

Ratcheting up the stakes in ongoing disputes within the industry, companies led by Germany’s SolarWorld on Wednesday asked the EU to investigate claims that Chinese firms had been selling their products below market value in Europe — the world’s biggest solar market.

SolarWorld spearheaded a similar initiative in the USs, leading the world’s largest economy in May to impose duties of about 31 percent on solar panel imports from China.

“If the EU were to follow the precedent of the US and launch an anti-dumping investigation on Chinese solar products, the Chinese solar industry would suffer a fatal blow,” Yingli Solar’s (英利) chief strategy officer Wang Yiyu (王亦逾) said.

“The investigation would also trigger a whole-scale trade war between China and the EU, which would cause huge losses to both parties,” he said at a briefing by four major Chinese solar firms — Yingli, SunTech (尚德), Trina (天合光能) and Canadian Solar (阿斯特).

Western solar companies have been at odds with their Chinese counterparts for years, alleging they receive lavish credit lines to offer modules at cheaper prices, while European players struggle to refinance.

Trade action in Europe could prompt China to return fire by taking similar measures against Western solar companies.

“We call on the Chinese government to take all necessary and resolute measures to protect the legitimate interests of the Chinese solar industry,” Wang said.

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