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EU readies heavy tariff on China solar panels

EU

The European Commission agreed on Wednesday to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in its boldest move yet to protect against what it sees as Chinese dumping of cheap goods in Europe. EU commissioners backed EU Trade Chief Karel De Gucht’s proposal to levy the provisional duties by June 6 and make Chinese solar exports less attractive in Europe, Reuters reported citing two officials. European solar panel makers complained that they are being undercut by cheap Chinese imports, jeopardizing their future as Beijing seeks to corner the market in a key green technology. EU producers say Chinese solar panel production quadrupled between 2009 and 2011 and Chinese companies have captured more than 80% of the European market from almost zero a few years ago, exporting €21 billion ($27 billion) to the European Union in 2011. As a result, Chinese-made panels are as much as 45% cheaper than those made in Europe.

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