The failure of the EU-China negotiated trade settlement to provide a workable environment for manufacturers demonstrates that the 'protectionist' nature of the European Commission’s policy, the head of the Chinese organisation that negotiated the solar deal has said.
Speaking to PV Tech, Sun Guangbin, secretary general of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery of Electronic Products (CCCME), said the main problem with the price undertaking is the level of the minimum import price (MIP). Sun has called for the trade measures to be removed.
Last week, Trina Solar said it was withdrawing from the undertaking and would instead serve the EU with products manufactured outside China.
“The main problem now remains that the MIP pricing is far more expensive than normal prices on the European market,” said Sun. “That has forced Chinese companies out of the everyday export business; meanwhile, the EU contrives to limit the possibility for Chinese companies setting up new factories in EU,” he claimed. “It is an upsetting decision to be made when Chinese companies have to drop out the agreement.”
The European Commission’s hands are somewhat tied however, with trade group EU ProSun lodging a request for an extension of the measures after meeting the required criteria. Political opposition to the measures is fragmented with the UK lobbying for their removal and Germany backing their continuation.
On Trina’s decision to withdraw, Sun said it was their prerogative as a business to do what is best for them. But the fact that businesses cannot operate commercially within the confines of the price undertaking proves that “the EU's policy reflects the unilateral trade protectionism” and hinders the ability of Chinese products to enter the European market.
Additional reporting by Carrie Xiao, PV Tech China