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EU investigating whether China subsidizes solar panel industry, could impose tariffs


In this Nov. 10, 2011 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a worker fixes a solar panel at a factory in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Xinhua, Liang Xiaopeng

BRUSSELS - The European Union is considering imposing tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels and parts after a complaint from European manufacturers alleged that Beijing is subsidizing the industry.

The Commission, the EU's executive arm, opened its investigation Thursday. It is already looking into a complaint that Chinese manufacturers are "dumping" solar panels on Europe — selling them at below-market rates.

The investigation into the subsidies will take 13 months. But it can impose duties in as few as nine months, if preliminary evidence indicates there are subsidies and they are hurting European manufacturers.

China produces 65 per cent of the world's solar panels, and the EU is its primary export market. Last year, China sold €21 billion ($27 billion) worth of solar panels and parts to the EU.


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