Europe’s outgoing trade commissioner has said Europe did not get the best deal out of the resolution to the long-running solar trade dispute with China.
During an interview with members of the press in Brussels, Karel De Gucht said China has “played member states like a piano”, according to an account of the interview published in the Wall Street Journal.
Europe announced punitive trade tariffs on Chinese solar modules but following talks with Beijing, a negotiated price undertaking was put in place instead.
De Gucht pointed to a trip to Berlin by China’s then Premier Li Keqiang as a turning point in the dispute when Germany withdrew its previous support for tariffs immediately after the visit and some other EU member states followed suit.
“One could argue that it’s not an ideal deal and that’s probably true,” he is quoted as saying by the WSJ.
De Gucht also called France’s objections to European enforced austerity as “bullshit” and accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of playing “village politics” by pandering the anti-EU UKIP party.