Trina Solar dismisses accusations of EU trade breach


Accusations that Trina Solar has breached the EU trade agreement are “false and ridiculous”, according to an executive at the company.

EU ProSun, the original complainant in the case, revealed yesterday that it had sent evidence of more than 1000 alleged breaches of the minimum price, that was negotiated last year to conclude the dispute.

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EU ProSun confirmed to PV Tech that Jinko Solar, LDK and Trina Solar were among those implicated in the documents handed to the European Commission.

“Trina is following the rules to the letter and if there is any evidence to the contrary then show it to me. I’m confident that there cannot be any evidence. Any accusation like that is completely false and ridiculous,” Ben Hill, vice president of Europe for Trina Solar told PV Tech.

“I can’t talk for the whole Chinese industry but Trina is one of the most professional companies in the world. Breaking the rules would mean being excluded from the market. Trina has a large investment here with a significant brand and we are not going to risk being thrown out of one of our key markets in the world,” said Hill.

“What I think complaints like that tell me, is that the people making those complaints haven’t understood the auditing and the significant amount of extra work that we have to do. Transactions of any sort, not just sales, have to be inputted into files theatre sent to the EU on a regular basis,” he added.

Hill also rued the impact that the ongoing trade disputes are having on employment in the sector citing job losses at inverter manufacturer SMA.

“The trade dispute is a short-term barrier and an obstacle to free trade but it will end. Then the industry will get back to normality. In the meantime we’re increasing our business in other channels not necessarily in the big projects channel however. There are other companies that are undercutting us significantly with really low pricing. But we are increasing our commercial and residential business so that’s really good for us. We’re still increasing not reducing our footprint in Europe,” said Hill.

PV Tech contacted LDK and Jinko but neither were immediately available for comment.

John Clancy, EU trade spokesman, told PV Tech that as part of on-going monitoring activities the EU would examine the evidence “and strive to establish relevant facts and act accordingly”.

“Allegations of possible violations are always thoroughly scrutinised and taken very seriously,” said Clancy.

If any rules have been broken the EU will take action, he said. “Confirmed breach of any commitments triggers withdrawal. Violations have to be duly established based on facts and evidence.”

Additional reporting by Lucy Woods.

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