According to Reuters, EU trade chief Karel De Gucht will recommend introducing AD duties on Chinese photovoltaic imports. The levies are likely to be set at 30% or higher and could be imposed for up to five years.
After Wednesday's meeting in Brussels, Reuters wrote, "De Gucht will propose the measures at a meeting of trade specialists from all EU countries, who are expected to back them, allowing the provisional levies to come into force by June 6."
The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE), meanwhile, believes the EU is planning to impose punitive tariffs of up to 50%. The imposition of punitive tariffs could lead to massive job losses, says the organization.
Duties of 60% would cost the European economy up to 242,000 jobs and 27 billion over the next three years, according to a study conducted by research institute Prognos and cited in a statement sent out by AFASE.
It adds that "imposing provisional duties would be against the EUs interest," according to a statement released on Friday. "These duties will immediately put a halt to most of the PV projects in the EU and cause severe damage that no negotiation concluded after the imposition of provisional duties can ever repair," it continued.
Germany's position in the trade case is a difficult one as Europes largest exporter to China. However, "Germany has thrown all its weight behind the case," a source close to the case told Reuters. "Germany does not usually do so in trade defense measures, but this an important industry under attack."
In a hearing held on April 5 at the EU Commission AFASE representatives said, "The current market development leaves no room for price increases. Duties as low as 15% will destroy 85% of EU PV demand."
The European Commission must determine by June 6 whether provisional anti-dumping duties should be applied to crystalline silicon photovoltaic products. A final decision will not be made before the end of the year. However, if duties are applied, the World Trade Organization (WTO) could backdate them to March 5.
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