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China launches WTO case challenging solar subsidies provided by some EU members


November 23, 2012
By Associated Press

Nov. 27, 2012 – China has filed a World Trade Organization case challenging subsidies provided by some European Union members to promote the solar panel industry, adding to a flurry of trade disputes that Beijing is locked in with Europe and the United States.

Nov. 27, 2012 – China has filed a World Trade Organization
case challenging subsidies provided by some European Union members
to promote the solar panel industry, adding to a flurry of trade disputes
that Beijing is locked in with Europe and the United States.

Commerce
Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said in a statement Monday that China is
requesting a consultation at the WTO on the issue.
China accuses some
EU countries of providing subsidies for power generated by solar facilities in
which the main components are manufactured in European countries.

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Shen
said such subsidies "seriously damaged China's
photovoltaic exports."

The statement did not specify which countries
are being targeted in the WTO case, but the official Xinhua News Agency cited
a Commerce Ministry official as saying that Italy and Greece provide such
subsidies for projects using EU-produced solar equipment.

The
case follows an anti-dumping probe Beijing announced Thursday into
European exports of polysilicon used in making solar panels. Before that, the
EU launched an investigation in September into whether Beijing was improperly
subsidizing exports of solar panels.

China and its trading partners
pledged after the 2008 global financial crisis to avoid taking actions that
would hamper trade but have launched a series of anti-subsidy investigations
and imposed punitive tariffs on some goods.

Solar and other renewable
energy technology is especially sensitive because governments that are under
pressure to cut high unemployment see it as a growth industry and source of
well-paid jobs.

Washington imposed tariffs of up to 250 per cent on
imports of Chinese-made solar panels this year to counter what it said
was improper subsidies to the industry.
The disputes have added to
financial pressure on Chinese and other solar equipment producers
that are suffering heavy losses due to lower sales and a price-cutting war.


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