European Union Opens Anti-dumping Investigation on Chinese Solar Panels (9/12)     Print Email

By Erik Peterson, “European Affairs” Editorial Assistant

The European Union announced last week it was opening an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel companies, perhaps following the lead of the U.S. which has already taken preliminary action.

The complaint was submitted to the European Commission on July 25th by EU ProSun, an industry association that represents the majority of EU solar companies, including German firm SolarWorld. The complaint outlined in the European Commission memo alleges that solar products imported from China are entering the European market with prices below market value, giving the Chinese companies an unfair advantage.

SolarWorld Industries America Inc also led the petition in the United States for the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration to investigate imported solar products from Chinese manufactures. On May 17th 2012 the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary tariffs of 31.14 percent to 249.96 percent against Chinese solar companies exporting to the U.S. The Department of Commerce will make final determinations on the tariff margins by October 2012.

Dumping is defined by The European Commission as:” A company is dumping if it is exporting a product to the EU at prices lower than the normal value of the product (the domestic prices of the product or the cost of production) on its own domestic market.”

China is the world’s largest manufacture of solar panels accounting for two-thirds of the world production. The EU investigation will last 15 months and could result in duties placed on Chinese imports. In response, China has urged the EU that they instead work to resolve the issue through negotiations.

This is not the first confrontation between the two economies in regards to dumping allegations. According the European Commission Trade Defence tracking site there are currently 14 open investigations of dumping against China and there are 38 closed cases that have resulted in anti-dumping measures against Chinese exports. If dumping is found to have occurred, the EU would plan for preliminary remedial measures to be enacted in June 2013 and definitive measures in December 2013.