EU Prosun keeps anti subsidy pressure on EC

Pro-tariff solar industry lobby group EU ProSun has welcomed Wednesday’s announcement the European Commission will continue its anti subsidy investigation into solar products manufactured in China.

The commission this week stated there would be no provisional duties imposed on Chinese products in connection with the anti subsidy complaint but the investigation would continue with a deadline for any final, ‘definitive’ measures against Chinese manufacturers due on December 5.

The EU ProSun group which prompted both the anti subsidy investigation – with a complaint in November – and the anti dumping case recently negotiated with the agreement of a minimum price and annual import volume cap on Chinese-made solar wafers, cells and modules, welcomed the continuation of the anti subsidy case.

EU ProSun president Milan Nitzschke said: "The Chinese communist government subsidizes the production and export of solar modules with billions of euros, which allows Chinese manufacturers to offer products for dumped prices over sustained periods.

"Market-based companies have no chance against such tactics. China’s destructive dumping and illegal subsidies have already cost thousands of European manufacturing jobs.

"We know from our own calculations that the subsidy percentage in Chinese solar products is a double-digit figure, and expect the European Commission to reach similar findings."

Wednesday’s announcement by the EC stated the negotiation of a settlement to the anti dumping trade case on July 27 – with the findings of the investigation and imposition any definitive measures also due on December 5 – meant any injury caused by Chinese government subsidies to European manufacturers had been removed for the time being.

Solar watchers expect the anti dumping deal to eventually lead to the resolution of the anti subsidy complaint but the EC statement came less than 24 hours after Chinese manufacturer JA Solar announced a fresh US$90 million credit line from the Bank of Communications of China, to itself and an affiliate. In its last published figures the bank listed the Chinese Ministry of Finance – with a 25.62 per cent stake – as its largest shareholder.