EU probes subsidies for Chinese solar panel makers
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission opened a fresh probe into Chinese solar panel makers on Thursday, raising the heat in the latest tit-for-tat dispute between China and its Western trading partners.
The Commission said it had "launched an anti-subsidy ... investigation into imports of solar panels and their key components" made in China after industry lobby group EU ProSun charged Beijing was giving its companies unfair subsidies.
"In terms of value of imports affected, this is the most significant anti-subsidy complaint ... so far: in 2011, China exported solar panels and their key components worth around 21 billion euros (S$32.8 billion) to the EU," it said.
The investigation will take 13 months but duties could be imposed within nine months if the probe finds sufficient evidence of illegal subsidies, it added.