Europe to investigate Chinese exports of solar panels

Chinese companies in the solar power industry now have about two-thirds of the global market

By Keith Bradsher

CHENGDU, China — Defying Chinese threats of retaliation against European wines and industrial materials, the European Union is preparing to begin on Thursday morning a broad investigation into whether Chinese companies have been exporting solar panels for less than it costs to make them.

The case would be one of the largest trade actions in European history and could lead to steep tariffs on much of China’s $20 billion in annual exports of solar products to Europe, four people familiar with the dispute said Wednesday.

The anti-dumping case, which follows a series of bankruptcies and factory closings by European and U.S. solar panel manufacturers, would broaden what has already become one of the biggest sticking points in trade relations between China and the United States. The U.S. Commerce Department imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs in May of at least 31 percent on Chinese solar panels, in addition to preliminary anti-subsidy tariffs of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent that were imposed in March.

The Chinese government has responded by accusing American producers of polysilicon, the main material used in solar panels, of engaging in unfair trade practices and has threatened steep tariffs on the producers.


If interested in discussing energy matters, you can contact Court Rich, director of Rose Law Group’s Renewable Energy Implementation Department,



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