EU announces solar trade deal reached with China

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The EU has announced that it has reached a deal with China to settle their long-running solar panel trade dispute.

A statement by European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht confirmed an agreement was reached, but did not provide the terms of the offer.

Speculation in the closing stages of the talks suggested the agreed upon minimum import price for Chinese panels would be in the range of €0.54-€57 per Watt (US$0.72-0.76).

“After weeks of intensive talks, I can announce today that I am satisfied with the offer of a price undertaking submitted by China’s solar panel exporters, as foreseen by the EU’s trade defence legislation. This is the amicable solution that both the EU and China were looking for,” said De Gucht.

“We are confident that this price undertaking will stabilise the European solar panel market and will remove the injury that the dumping practices have caused to the European industry. We have found an amicable solution that will result in a new equilibrium on the European solar panel market at a sustainable price level.

“Upon consultation of the advisory committee composed of Member States, I intend to table this offer for approval by the European Commission.”

The offer includes a minimum import price and terms to cancel negative impacts of previous dumping, with monitoring to be carried out by the European Union.

The agreement comes ahead of a 6 August deadline from which punitive duties of 47.6% would be applied to Chinese modules entering the EU.

The dispute led China to open an investigation into EU wine exports in what was considered a tit-for-tat response.

The dispute was the largest by value between the EU and China, with the market worth an estimated €21 billion (US$28 billion) last year alone.

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