German industrial associations against AD duties on Chinese PV imports

22. May 2013 | Trade cases, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Sandra Enkhardt

The Federation of German Industry (BDI) and the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) have warned of the loss of thousands of jobs in Germany if the EU Commission imposes anti-dumping duties on photovoltaic products imported from China, according to a local newspaper.

solar park germany

The EU is currently investigating not only imported photovoltaic products, but also telecommunications suppliers.

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel will also discuss the topic with the Chinese premier Li Keqiang when he visits Germany next Monday (May 26). The German federal government aims to prevent the imposition of import duties in any case.

Representatives of the Federation of German Industry (BDI) and the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) warned against the introduction of duties on crystalline photovoltaic products imported from China. "Every possibility should be exhausted in order to find a solution through negotiations before introducing anti-dumping proceedings against China," said BDI president Ulrich Grillo, according to a report in the German news daily Welt (Tuesday issue).

German industry is dependent on open markets due to its high share of exports. And China in particular is of enormous importance, Grillo continued. BGA president Anton Börner told the weekly Euro on Sunday: "The existence of companies involved in solar handicrafts will be threatened as a result of cost increases in the event of sanctions. Import duties would also be detrimental to German machine manufacturers whose technology is often used for photovoltaic production in China. "One can expect to see unease among other industries as well if this develops into a trade war," Börner went on to say.

Meanwhile, the German federal government continues to search for the possibility of finding an amicable solution in order to prevent duties on crystalline photovoltaic products imported from China. The EU Commission will likely impose provisional import duties of an average 47% at the beginning of June. However, a decision on final sanctions will only be made at the end of the year. German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also plans to address the topic when the Chinese premier Li Keqiang visits next Monday (May 26).

The EU is currently investigating not only imported photovoltaic products, but also telecommunications suppliers. "We are keeping our sights on the goal of an amicable agreement in both of the fields that you mentioned," affirmed German government spokesman Steffen Seibert. And Philipp Rösler (FDP), Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, who according to German media reports regards the duties as a "serious mistake", will express his reservations this week during discussions with members of the EU Commission in Brussels.

"Our position is very clear: Fundamental trade conflicts that might develop from mutual escalation must be avoided under all circumstances. To that extent we also expressly share the criticism currently expressed and argued by German industry," explained a spokesperson from the Ministry for Economics and Technology.

However, German government representatives also made reference to the fact that the EU Commission initially decides "independently and on its sole responsibility" when it comes to provisional anti-dumping duties.

Translated by Alan Faulcon; edited by Vera von Kreutzbruck
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