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EU: trade investigation into China over solar glass

An investigation has been launched by the European Commission after claims that Chinese solar glass producers are dumping their products in the European Union at below market value. This follows on from a complaint filed by EU ProSun Glass group in February in response to a fourfold increase of Chinese exports to the EU in four years.

The European Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into industry claims that Chinese solar glass producers are dumping their products in the European Union at below market value, opening a new front in the trade battle with China.
The Commission said there was sufficient evidence to show possible dumping by Chinese exporters that may be damaging the EU industry, which is valued at less than EUR 200 million (USD 262.18 million).
The product accounts for a very small part of the goods the EU imports from China, which totalled EUR 293 billion in 2011, but the complaint marks a new challenge from the European Union to Chinese exporters and the Beijing government.
In 2011, the Commission launched its largest investigation regarding alleged dumping of, and subsidies for, an annual EUR 21 billion of solar panels and components China exports to the EU.
EU ProSun Glass group, led by EU sector leader GMB of Germany, filed a complaint in February this year in response to a fourfold increase of Chinese exports to the EU in four years. China’s share of the EU market is now 25-30%, it said.
According to EU ProSun Glass, Chinese peers had a manufacturing capacity of 400 million square metres, double total global demand, and had to smash some of the glass they produced.
The group also says the Chinese government is covering losses of the industry, which is also benefiting from cheap credit and subsidies.
The group, whose members say they represent more than half of EU solar glass production, said duties of more than 100% were required to bring Chinese prices of below EUR 4 per square metre to a breakeven level of EUR 7-9.
EU anti-dumping investigations last up to 15 months. The Commission can impose provisional import duties within the first nine months. EU member states vote on whether to set definitive duties, typically lasting five years.

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