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Heraeus has joined the SolarWorld mêlée offering words of wisdom to its peers. The Hanau, Germany-based precious metals and technology group, believes the European Union should reject the recently-filed complaint by SolarWorld that seeks the introduction of import duties on solar modules manufactured in China.
Both Heraeus and its customer SolarWorld, although in disagreement with its actions over China, are involved in patent infringement and claims of IP theft by DuPont.
"Heraeus has always supported preserving free trade without protectionist government intervention. In this instance as well, we regard the attempt to impose import duties on solar modules made in China as clearly interfering with the rules of free competition," said Dr. Frank Heinricht, chairman of the Heraeus Holding board of management.
“Should a trade war between the European Union and China result, it would cause further harm to companies across Europe's solar industry”, he added.
“While a few companies have expressed interest in creating a situation comparable to the one in the United States, this suggestion is counterproductive. Regulation would amount to a distortion of competition, with only a short-term gain. In the long run, no company benefits from state protectionism," Heinricht said.
“The key to maintaining a competitive edge lies in innovation, not government intervention and only a company's innovations ensure the continued success it needs to thrive in the competitive arena. That is why Heraeus has a long history “All of the company’s products, including the silver conductive pastes used in solar modules, are continually improved. We work hand-in-hand with solar cell manufacturers and because most production is done locally, we have become part of the value added chain in China", he explained.