German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday (26 May) called for an end to a trade row between Europe and China over solar panels and wireless equipment, telling a joint news conference they were both for free trade.
The European Commission agreed to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in a move to guard against what it sees as dumping of cheap goods in Europe, prompting a cautious response from Beijing which called for further dialogue.
The European Commission launched an investigation today (28 February) into industry claims that Chinese solar glass producers are dumping their products in the European Union at below market value, opening a new front in the trade battle with China.
The head of EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht’s cabinet has told EURACTIV that the bloc has many worries about a clean-tech trade war with China over unfair subsidisation of solar panels, but that its hands are tied.
Since global economic ties are so closely meshed and dependent jobs are so numerous, a market intervention in the form of trade barriers would have fatal consequences for the European solar industry, writes Thorsten Preugschas.
When EU and Chinese leaders meet on Thursday (20 September), they are expected to explore future cooperation amid tensions over the European Commission's investigation into allegations of dumping by China’s solar industry.