The European Union (EU) has opened an investigation into the exporting and pricing practices of Chinese solar panel makers, according to an article in the New York Times and other media outlets. The broad probe, which could result in steep tariffs against Chinese manufacturers, follows a decision by U.S. trade officials last May to impose antidumping tariffs of at least 31% on Chinese solar panels.
The key issues involves whether Chinese manufacturers are “dumping” their products at below-market prices in the United States and Europe. Competitors claim that that the Chinese-owned state banks are subsidizing the Chinese industry, a violation of international trade laws.
The outcome of the EU investigation is critical for the Chinese because Europe is China’s biggest market for solar panels, accounting for approximately 80% of its export sales.