Mixed signals on prospects for settlement of China solar trade cases

Trade negotiations between the European Union and China regarding solar panels have hit a bump in the road, as the European trade commissioner complained about Chinese pressure on individual EU nations that he said was designed to prevent Europe from reaching a consensus. For its part, China has called upon the European Union to not place tariffs on Chinese solar panels, claiming that doing so would seriously damage bilateral trade and economic relations.

The dispute has arisen due to accusations of the dumping of solar panels on the part of the Chinese, meaning that Chinese companies are selling solar panels at below the cost of production. The United States has already imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels of 30% in response to the alleged dumping.

However, Germany has just come out strongly against the proposed European tariffs, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for an end to the trade dispute during a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who was visiting Germany to improve bilateral relations between the two countries and sign various business agreements.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has recently decided to seek a settlement with China to replace the U.S. tariffs, but discussions are ongoing.

For more see: Europe and China Trade Talks End Bitterly, The New York Times

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