EUROPEAN COMMISSION WELCOMES EUROEPAN UNION INDUSTRY’S AGREEMENT WITH CHINA IN THE POLYSILICON ANTI-DUMPING AND ANTI-SUBSIDY CASES
After China initiated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on European imports of polysilicon to China in November 2012, the German polysilicon producer Wacker Chemie AG and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) have today announced that an agreement has been found to settle the proceedings through a price undertaking.
European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated: ‘I am very satisfied that China will not impose trade defence measures on European polysilicon exports. With this agreement, our industry will be able to pursue its operations in China where there is a substantial demand for high quality polysilicon. The European Commission and the German Government have worked hand in hand over the last couple of months to strongly support Wacker Chemie AG in its negotiation for an economically viable minimum import price. I am confident the removal of this trade irritant will strengthen the EU – China bilateral relationship.’
The agreement reached between Wacker Chemie AG and MOFCOM consists of a price undertaking, a solution foreseen by applicable WTO rules. The agreement involves that European exports of polysilicon are not sold below a specific minimum price in China, whereas China agreed to refrain from imposing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on the imports.
China initiated the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy proceedings on imports of polysilicon from the European Union in November 2012. Polysilicon is a major input for the production of solar panels. The German producer Wacker Chemie AG accounts for practically all polysilicon exports from the EU to China which had a value of around € 700 million in 2011.
In January, China released its preliminary findings in this case claiming that EU polysilicon exports were exported at a lower price than sold in Europe, a practice called dumping, and subsidized, and that these exports caused injury to the Chinese polysilicon producers. The European Commission has consistently defended the view that the case made by the Chinese authorities was unfounded and that the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy margins provisionally determined by Chinese investigators were inflated.
The European Commission and Chinese solar panel producers reached a similar agreement in August 2013 in the context of EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy proceedings on Chinese solar panels. The European Commission and the German Government fully coordinated their approach vis-à-vis China with the objective to find a similar solution for polysilicon. They advised Wacker Chemie AG inter alia on technical issues and were in constant contact with the Chinese authorities in order to ensure that Wacker’s arguments were duly taken into account.