Trade war dominates CEO Panel23. November 2012 | Top News, Forum Solarpraxis, Trade cases | By: Sandra Enkhardt
The argument for and against the duties on Chinese PV products dominated the CEO panel that took place at the 13th Forum Solarpraxis.
Milan Nitzschke, President of EU ProSun and SolarWorld spokesperson defended the anti-dumping and anti-subvention. The main reasons behind these charges are to enable fair competition and free trade. Nitzschke warns that the current competitive conditions will force US and European module manufacturers out of the PV market and only five Chinese suppliers will remain behind. This is not only a disadvantage for the end-customer but for the entire supply chain.
Trade barriers would be the biggest danger for further development of the solar industry in western Europe according to Ben Hill, Europe head from Trina Solar. He is part of the initiative AFASE which seeks to prevent such duties from being enforced. Chinese manufacturers hold a better position. They are going for bigger capacities and modern production halls. Additionally Chinese companies are investing a lot in research and development. Gregory Spanoudakis, Europe head from Canadian Solar, dismissed allegations of unjustified subventions for Chinese PV companies. Ben Hill advised that it is high time that the solar industry learns to stand on its own feet. AFASE believes that duties will push module prices up while EU ProSun argues against this and does not believe prices will increase.
Officially the EU has until end of 2013 to make a decision on the anti-dumping and anti-subvention accusations. Only at the end will the 27 states be brought in to the process. The duties, if imposed, can last up to five years according to Nitzschke.
Translated by Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger
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