Anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels a bad move
“I acknowledge the fact that the coordinators of the EPP, S&D, ALDE, ECR and Green groups backed Commissioner De Gucht in his decision to stand firm against China and concerns raised by more than half of the Member States to impose 47% provisional anti-dumping duties on solar panels imported from China. However, in my own capacity, I deplore this decision and the failure to continue negotiations to find a solution suitable for both parties. Policy decisions to decrease the EU market for solar panels by reducing payments to producers of renewable energies have led to the current situation, in which China sought to compensate investments in its solar panel production sector made under different market development assumptions. The increase in costs for solar panels will have an effect on public procurement bills of communities in many Member States and will slow down Europe's efforts to install higher renewable energy capacities.
According to my analysis, the decision will negatively impact EU exports in the respective supply industries, in particular the chemical industry, and a high number of the mostly small and medium enterprises involved in the installation of solar panels. The Chinese government will be well aware that the Commission can provisionally enforce duties for a six-month period only, before it needs a Council decision for permanent duties, which at this point in time seems unlikely. With China already looking into EU export subsidies in the steel and chemical sectors, more wisdom would have rested in an agreement on different forms of state subsidies for struggling industries and new forms of cooperation agreements between affected private sector companies in the solar panel sector in order to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution. Even the limited duties of 11% during the first two months will be perceived as an attempt to threaten the partner and will not be supportive for the start of negotiations on extended cooperation like in the proposed investment agreement.”