China ‘blackmailed’ EU countries over trade tariff vote

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

EU ProSun, the body campaigning for trade duties on Chinese solar products, has alleged that China blackmailed EU member states ahead of a key vote on the proposed tariffs.

In a European Council vote last month, 18 member states were opposed to the commission’s plans to impose duties.

However, EU ProSun president, Milan Nitzschke, has accused China blackmailing countries into voting against the commission’s proposals.

Speaking at the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group seminar at the British House of Commons on the impact of the EU-China trade war, Nitzschke said of the vote: “All of those member states knew that it [the EU member vote] was a non-binding vote, which means that the commission would introduce tariffs if they voted no or yes.”

He continued: “On the other hand, a lot of them have been simply blackmailed. China just sent their ambassadors to trade ministries and said: ‘We will cut our investment in your country if you don’t vote no.’ So this is simple blackmail.”

Nitzschke’s comments build on those of the trade commissioner Karel De Gucht, who previously said that he was “aware of the pressure being exerted by China on a number of EU member states which explains why they [the member states] are positioning themselves as they are in their advisory positions towards the European Commission”.

Responding to the allegations of blackmail, Paulette Vander Schueren, lawyer for the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE), which opposes tariffs against China, said: “I think it is belittling EU member states to say that they have been blackmailed by the Chinese.”

Vander Schueren proposed that the scale of representation by the downstream solar sector persuaded member states to vote against the proposals. “There have been a number of trade associations and downstream businesses that have been quite explicit in saying ‘this is going to affect us’,” she said.

When asked to defend the veracity of his statements, Nitzschke said he had been told by members of the anti-dumping committee that member states were visited by Chinese investors, after which countries changed their opinion. “So it’s not because so many letters have been written to those ministries, it is just because China has itself intervened,” Nitzschke said.

Nitzschke added: “There is a second level of lobbying going on right now by the Chinese-owned companies in Europe – nothing to do with solar – who are just lobbying.”

Earlier this month, European trade commissioner Karel de Gucht announced that the European Commission will impose solar duties on Chinese-manufactured solar products.

As of 6 June 2013, a tariff rate of 11.8% will be introduced. On 6 August 2013, the rate will return to the levels originally proposed by the EC with an average of 46.7% unless a negotiated settlement can be reached between the EU and China.

23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.
7 April 2022
Solarex Istanbul, Turkey’s first and unique exhibition on solar energy, provides a huge opportunity to Turkey on the way to being a solar energy hub. Solarex Istanbul will take place on 7-9 April 2022 for the 14th time. It will be a commercial platform to have the latest technologies and combination of new products from all around the world. It takes place annually at Istanbul Expo Center, Turkey. It is also called the most important platform for manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of the solar industry in Eurasia.

Read Next

January 28, 2022
Greek industrial group Mytilineos said its renewables and storage unit continues with “full speed” to invest in solar and battery energy storage systems globally following a 2021 that saw the business expand its PV engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) operations.
January 28, 2022
Indian independent power producer (IPP) ReNew Power has sold its 117MW rooftop solar portfolio as part of a strategy to heighten its focus on utility-scale PV.  
January 28, 2022
Global investment in renewables rose to new heights in 2021 as solar and wind deployment surged, but total energy transition expenditure needs to triple in the coming years to get on track for net zero, according to new research from BloombergNEF.
January 28, 2022
LONGi has raised its wafer prices for a second time in just over a month as hopes of falling costs fade and China shuts down for a week for its annual Luna New Year holiday.
January 27, 2022
Renewables owner and operator Brookfield Renewable has tripled its US development pipeline to 31GW through the US$650 million acquisition of clean power developer Urban Grid.
January 27, 2022
Hecate Energy’s first stage application for a 500MW solar PV plant in the state of New York has been accepted by the newly formed New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
April 25, 2022
Berlin, Germany