Share This Page

EU, Chinese exporters settle solar panel feud

| Saturday, July 27, 2013, 6:06 p.m.
Workers assemble solar panels at a factory in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province.

BEIJING — The European Union and Chinese solar panel exporters said on Saturday that they had reached a settlement in their long trade dispute, with the exporters agreeing to sell their products at a minimum price in the EU market.

The agreement ends one of the biggest-ever trade disputes between China and Europe — a row that threatened to escalate into a full-blown trade war involving European wines and to disrupt EU-China relations.

The settlement was reached after negotiations that began in June, when the EU announced that duties averaging 47 percent on Chinese-made solar panels, cells and wafers would go into effect in August. The EU said then that China was selling its products in the EU market at below-cost prices and harming the European solar panel industry.

In announcing the settlement, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said he was satisfied with the offer by the Chinese solar panel exporters and that the agreement would stabilize the European solar panel market.

“We have found an amicable solution that will result in a new equilibrium on the European solar panel market at a sustainable price level,” he said.

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products said in a statement that the price promise represents the majority will of Chinese companies and that it would allow Chinese manufacturers to continue to export their products to Europe and retain fair market shares. The chamber described the negotiations as “arduous” and “meticulous.”

“China's solar panels industry is always committed to maintaining a fair international trade environment,” the statement said. “It opposes trade protectionism and supports resolving disputes through negotiations.”

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said China welcomed the settlement. The EU is the largest export market for Chinese solar panel products, according to Shen.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.