The European Commission has recently launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation against Chinese solar manufacturers following a series of complaints from European solar manufacturers.
Depending on the outcome of the investigation it is possible that the EU could impose import tariffs on all Chinese solar panels, much like what happened in the US.
Customs officials have even been told to keep a precise record of all imported solar panels from China in order to calculate retrospective tariffs to be levied against imports that occurred before the rule was given, that is if it is ever decided to impose the tariffs at all.
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European solar manufacturers would welcome the decision to impose tariffs on imports, hoping to recapture lost market initially stolen by the artificially low prices of Chinese imports. On the other hand, European installers and purchasers of solar technology worry that any imports would cause solar prices to rocket, and reduce the demand in the market; leading to a slowdown in the development of the technology, and the loss of numerous jobs across the industry.
This fear has led the Alliance of Affordable Solar Energy, a group consisting of over 350 companies, to write a letter to the European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, and signed by 1,024 companies, warning of negative impacts of trade tariffs, as listed above. The letter also suggests that the European solar manufacturers are struggling, not due to Chinese competition, but because of over-capacity in the market.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com