Rather than take the course the United States took, EU member states have overwhelmingly voted against imposing provisional anti-dumping duties on solar imports from China. The vote was 18 opposed, 4 in favor, and 5 abstaining. A proposed 47% average anti-dumping duty could still be implemented (this vote just concerned provisional duties). But that is far from certain, especially following this week’s vote.
The vote follows intense lobbying from China as well as from European solar installers and their representatives and allies.
As noted yesterday, German leadership has been especially public about its preference not to impose the duties, as have UK leaders. Furthermore, 15 solar trade associations within the EU have expressed their opposition to such duties.
Nonetheless, European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht is expected to push forward the plan to impose the 47% average duties, and is expected to publish them in early June.
Ray Noble, the UK Solar Trade Association’s PV Specialist, notes: “We understand that under EU rules, despite a clear majority vote, the Commissioner can still go ahead and impose these duties. I suggest David Cameron and Angela Merkel work together to sort out these absurd rules and remove this lingering market uncertainty, so that industry can get on with installing low cost, clean and affordable solar energy.”
Notably, in contrast to the UK and Germany, some of Europe’s largest countries (and solar leaders) voted for the provision duties, such as Spain, Italy, and France.
We’ll keep you updated….