The New York Times reported on Monday that the United States and the European Union may separately negotiate settlements with China in the trade cases involving $30 billion a year in solar panel shipments to the West.
Times reporter Keith Bradsher wrote, “The plan that is starting to take shape would essentially carve up the global solar panel market into a series of regional markets. It would sharply raise the price of solar panels exported from China, the world’s dominant producer, by requiring Chinese companies to charge more while limiting the total number of solar panels they could ship. In exchange, Chinese companies would no longer be charged steep taxes on their exports of solar panels. The United States is already collecting tariffs totaling about 30 percent while the European Union is expected to impose similar tariffs of about 50 percent on June 5, and may backdate them to March 5.”
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that U.S. and E.U. trade officials deny making common cause on PV issues.
WASHINGTON, DC (press release) – Reacting to published reports that the United States and the European Union are trying to settle a lingering trade dispute with China over anti-dumping and anti-subsidy allegations, John Smirnow, vice president of trade and competitiveness for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – issued the following statement:
“Meeting last week in China, SEIA and the Asia PV Industry Association – along with several other organizations – agreed to a joint policy position, the Shanghai Solar Declaration, which strongly encourages the United States, China, the European Union and other nations to engage in multilateral trade negotiations aimed at ending this costly and disruptive dispute.
“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.
“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.
“And, finally, in attempting to settle this dispute, we strongly encourage the Administration to carefully evaluate what impact any actions may have on American consumers and U.S. workers.”