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Canada, EU Ramp Up Chinese Solar Trade Sanctions

Canada and the European Union are ramping up trade sanctions on Chinese solar panels, both claiming that Beijing is dumping cheap, subsidized product on their markets.

In Canada, “a decision last week to impose duties on Chinese imports was hailed as a victory for Canadian solar panel manufacturers, but it is raising concerns that prices will spike, pushing up the costs of installation and depressing demand,” the Globe and Mail reported earlier this month. In Europe, AltEnergyStocks reported [1] March 14, “what started as some quiet rumblings earlier this week is quickly brewing into a major storm, with word that a landmark settlement between the EU and China a year ago to resolve an anti-dumping dispute over solar panels is quickly unraveling.”

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The preliminary ruling by the Canada Border Services Agency “set stiff provisional import duties to protect Canadian panel manufacturers,” Blackwell writes, but drew criticism from solar retailers who import Chinese product. “The tariffs are the biggest step backwards Canada has made in the past 10 years towards replacing fossil fuels with renewables,” said Dave Egles, president of Victoria-based HES Home Energy Solutions Inc.

The European Union, meanwhile, “is expanding its probe to include a number of other firms from the three originally targeted, as it looks into complaints that Chinese solar panel makers are violating the year-old agreement that was supposed to resolve a dispute over unfair state support,” analyst Doug Young reports from China. “Under the agreement, the Chinese companies agreed to voluntarily raise their prices to levels comparable with their western rivals to offset any advantage they might get from state support via policies like cheap government loans and subsidized land use.”