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China urges EU to nix solar panel tariffs

CHINA called on the European Union (EU) to put an end to punitive duties imposed on Chinese solar panels as soon as possible following a decision by the EU to extend the tax for 18 months.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, announced on Wednesday an 18-month extension, with a gradual phase-out, of duties on Chinese solar panels imposed more than three years ago.

Wang Hejun, head of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC)'s trade remedy and investigation bureau, said China regrets that the EU has extended the duties, disregarding the opposition of Chinese companies, although the extension period has been shortened.

China and the EU have worked out an exemplary way of settling solar product disputes through price undertaking, he said. Under the mechanism, Chinese solar exporters raise prices to avoid anti-dumping duties.

With joint efforts under way, the mechanism has been running steadily, balancing the interests of all parties concerned in an effective way, Wang noted.

He urged the EU to properly handle follow-ups and drop the anti-dumping and countervailing duties as soon as possible in a bid to limit the negative impacts on Sino-EU trade relations.

With global trade facing rising uncertainties and risks, Wang underlined the importance for China and the EU, which are strategic and trade partners, to strengthen cooperation to cope with challenges.

China is willing to work with the EU to advance bilateral ties, fight protectionism and create a sound environment for economic globalization on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, he said.

The EU started imposing hefty tariffs on Chinese solar panels in 2013 and extended trade measures at the end of 2015. But appeals for fewer restrictions in the sector have been on the rise in Europe.


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