EU and China settle solar rift

The EU and China said yesterday that they had settled a trade dispute about solar panels that threatened to upset relations between the two.

The row broke out in June when the EU accused China of harming the European solar panel industry by selling products in the EU at below-cost prices.

Brussels threatened to levy import duties averaging 47 per cent on Chinese solar panels and solar cells and wafers. At one point the row looked set to escalate into a full-blown trade war involving European wines and to disrupt EU-China relations.

Yesterday, it was announced that Chinese exporters had now agreed to sell their products at a minimum price – though this is far below the price that European manufacturers had hoped for.

The EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, said an "amicable" solution had been found that would "result in a new equilibrium on the solar panel market at a sustainable price level."

China's Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export said the price agreement represents the "majority will of Chinese companies".

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