EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

Visit of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, to the Joint Research Centre in Ispra (EC Audiovisual Services).

Visit of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, to the Joint Research Centre in Ispra (EC Audiovisual Services).

According to well-informed Brussels sources, the European Commission secured last week a non-binding authorisation by the EU member states, to impose anti-dumping measures on imports of solar panels and components originating from China. The same sources say, however, that the Commission denied that this will lead to an immediate imposition of such measures and characterised this development as a standard procedural step. Incidentally, EU’s trade spokesman John Clancy said in a statement that this step, “should not be interpreted as suggesting anything – it is simply an administrative procedure”. In reality, this statement doesn’t exclude anything, given that all anti-dumping duties are imposed in accordance to administrative procedures.

Standard procedures

The European Sting has been following this issue for quite some time. On 6 September 2012, the Commission introduced an anti-dumping investigation on imports of solar panels and components originating from China. At that time, the Commission said it had accepted complaints from EU producers that solar panels imported from China are sold at dumbing prices.

Always following its standard procedure, the Commission sent out questionnaires to various interested parties (e.g. exporting producers, Union producers, importers and associations), asking for information relating to the exports, production, sales and imports of solar panels and their key components. By now, almost all interested parties have responded. All those data are currently under examination by the Commission.

On the basis of the information collected, the Commission will establish if there has been dumping and whether the injury allegedly suffered has been caused by the dumped imports. This examination will also include looking at possible other factors that could also have contributed to the injury suffered. In this way, the discretional powers of the Commission over the whole affair are substantially increased.

In any case, the Commission after 9 months from the initiation of the investigation, that is, from September 2012 (consequently before June 2013) has to issue its provisional findings. This may happen earlier if the Commission feels that all the relevant data are available. There are three possible scenarios: (a) impose provisional anti-dumping duties (normally for a six months period) (b) continue the investigation without imposing provisional duties or (c) terminate the investigation”.

Towards a trade war?

The problem is, however, that the Chinese authorities do not seem to take this issue lightly. Towards the end of January, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced the imposition of anti-dumping duties with effect as from 1 February on two products originating from the EU and the US. Imports into China of the widely used solvents ethylene glycol monobutyl and diethylene glycol monobutyl ethers, produced by a number of European and American companies, will be penalised with anti-dumping duties ranging from 9.3% to 18.8%. This is obviously a reaction to the recent anti-dumping investigations and measures introduced by the EU and the US against very important Chinese products and companies. The Chinese officials, after announcing this decision, commented that in no way they wish to start a trade war.

Despite that comment, this was a direct warning from Beijing that the “Atlantic” penalisation of Chinese products will not be accepted any more. On many occasions over the past years, the European Union and the United States have being imposing anti-dumping duties on sales of a large number of products of Chinese companies.

The EU-US trade agreement

Things, however, are even more complicated after the announced willingness by the EU and the US to start negotiations to conclude a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). To this effect, last week, Brussels and Washington issued a joint statement signed by the US President Barack Obama, the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. With it, the EU and the US announced their decision to conclude a bilateral FTA by the end of 2014. This development set off the alarm all over the business world. Reports from South Korea say that this country and Chine will suffer large losses, if the EU and the US conclude a far reaching bilateral FTA.

Given all that, the way Brussels is to handle the Chinese solar panel issue will signal if the Union is to change its trade relations strategy, with the Asian nations after deciding to conclude an FTA with the US. At this point, it must be noted that the EU has so far concluded only one such agreement with a third country, being it with South Korea.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Abu Dhabi is investing $250 million in tech start-ups

Energy: new target of 32% from renewables by 2030 agreed by MEPs and ministers

This German supermarket’s shelves are filled with food other stores won’t sell

Royal Navy to unveil future surveillance and reconnaissance requirements next February in Rome

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

Draghi: ECB to flood Eurozone and the world with more zero cost money; risk of drowning in cash

DR Congo Ebola centre attacks could force retreat against the deadly disease, warns UN health chief

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

European Semester: The Winter Package explained

This Canadian company transforms plastic waste into building materials

Ensure safety of responders UN Security Council urges, amid worsening DR Congo Ebola outbreak

The final countdown towards achieving 2030 Agenda

How man and machine can work together in the age of AI

Two EU Commissioners fire at will against the US

The why in including palliative care in Universal Health Care

Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment

‘A new chapter’ dawns for democracy in Guinea-Bissau: top UN official

Coronavirus: ‘An emergency in China, but not yet a global health emergency’

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

New rules allow EU consumers to defend their rights collectively

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia: Security Council

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

Coronavirus: Commission proposes a Digital Green Certificate

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

EU-U.S Joint statement on the humanitarian emergency in Tigray

UN rights chief welcomes new text to protect rights of peasants and other rural workers

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Pesticides: MEPs propose blueprint to improve EU approval procedure

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Women in Medicine: An Equality Long Overdue

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

6 ways countries can prepare for the next infectious disease pandemic

After the European Parliament elections – what happens next?

Stateless Rohingya refugee children living in ‘untenable situation’, UNICEF chief

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

State aid: Commission approves €511 million Italian scheme to compensate commercial rail passenger operators for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

Germany’s fiscal and financial self-destructive policies

Palliative care: an indispensable component for a better quality of life

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

These 3 innovative solar farms show why this renewable technology is hot right now

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

Voices of Afghan women ‘must be heard at the table in the peace process and beyond’ UN deputy chief tells Security Council

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Doctors without borders

This powerful tool will help corporates make the switch to 100% renewables

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

Helping small businesses fight cybercrime benefits the global ecosystem

More Stings?

Comments

  1. We do not need a trade war. Quostion is simply to find correct things to do in correct places….

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s