European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht has reiterated his desire to see a negotiated resolution to the increasingly fraught EU-China solar trade spat.

Speaking after the 27th EU-China Joint Committee meeting in China last week, De Gucht said the solar row had remained off the agenda at the annual trade forum and that he was still hoping for an “amicable” settlement between the two sides.

Earlier this month De Gucht confirmed that 11.8% duties would be levied on Chinese solar imports into the EU until 6 August. After this time, unless the EU is successful in negotiating with China, full duties averaging around 47% will come into effect.

De Gucht said discussions with China were ongoing but at an early stage. He revealed that following an initial meeting in Brussels last week, the discussions on a negotiated settlement with China would now continue in Beijing.

But he said: “It is early days in the negotiation process. This kind of issue is rarely solved overnight. Everyone should be very careful not to jump to any conclusions – one way or the other – simply because there is no hard news on this issue today.

“On the contrary, I believe that both sides have now engaged in a sincere way to work towards an amicable solution. That is the good news.

“As I have stated time and time again during the course of the investigation, the EU has only one wish: to find a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible on the basis of 'undertakings' that can remove the injury caused by the dumping on our market: nothing more, nothing less.”

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