American Solar Association urges negotiations with China

After China's trade ministry had warned the EU and the USA during the past week of a trade war, a growing number of business leaders and politicians are calling for the differences to be reconciled at the negotiating table. Now, several large organisations, including the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the most important solar Association of the USA, and the Asia PV Industry Association, have issued a joint statement urging negotiations.

The associations are sending a clear signal with the declaration they agreed upon in Shanghai. They want to move the United States, China, the EU and other countries to end this "costly and disruptive dispute" through multilateral negotiations, says John Smirnow, Vice President of trade and competitiveness for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

"After expressing our intentions to the White House, we are very encouraged that these long-needed negotiations appear ready to proceed.  Simply put, it’s time for everyone to work together toward a fair resolution of these cases,” says Smirnow.

"There is clear evidence that disputes within one segment of the industry affect the entire solar supply chain.  What’s more, they cause a ripple effect throughout the economies of the United States, Asia and Europe.  In addition to resolving current disagreements, we hope this process will also lead to the creation of a pro-competitive, collaborative framework for preventing future trade conflicts and ensuring the adoption of balanced and equitable agreements in the future."

Starting in June, the European Commission intends to levy punitive duties on solar panels from China. The EU considers it as proven those Chinese manufacturers are selling their modules at dumping prices. The duties against dumping will be an average of 47%. The EU is also investigating whether China is supporting its solar industry with impermissible subsidies. Similar investigations directed against Chinese companies are currently being conducted in other markets as well (steel, telecommunications).

Bodo Höche

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