DJ China to Protect Solar Panel Firms From EU Tariff Plan -Ministry
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BEIJING--China resolutely opposes plans by the European Union to impose punitive tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels and will protect local companies, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday. Asked about the EU plan to set penalties of up to 67.9%, ministry spokesman Yao Jian didn't mention any specific actions but said that Beijing wanted to avoid a trade war. "We hope the EU will be cautious about imposing restriction," Mr. Yao told reporters. "We don't want to see a trade war." Chinese solar-panel manufacturers will face import duties of up to 67.9% at European Union borders under a plan from the 27-nation bloc's executive body, according to a copy of the plan viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The tariffs, which will come into effect by June 6, will range from 37.3% to 67.9%, according to the document, drafted by the European Commission. Some of the largest Chinese manufacturers will face duties at the higher end of that range. Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) and its subsidiaries will face tariffs of 48.6%, according to the document. Tariffs on LDK Solar Co. (LDK) will be 55.9%, and tariffs on Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) will be 51.5%. JingAo Solar Co. will face tariffs of 58.7%, the document says. The duties are intended to protect European solar companies stung by a flood of imported Chinese solar panels. Dozens of European manufacturers have shut production or gone out of business as solar-panel prices have plummeted. The industry says unfairly priced imports from China are the cause. The plan addresses only charges of unfair pricing. European manufacturers have filed a separate complaint against Chinese firms alleging they receive Chinese-government support that violates international trade rules. The findings of that investigation by the European Commission won't be available until August at the earliest. Mr. Yao said that although negotiations are the best way to resolve