EU reaches 'amicable solution' with China on solar panel dispute

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission said on Saturday it has reached an "amicable solution" with Beijing over imports of Chinese solar panels, a dispute that had threatened to turn into a full-blown trade war.

"We found an amicable solution in the EU-China solar panels case that will lead to a new market equilibrium at sustainable prices," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement.

Mr De Gucht said that "after weeks of intensive talks", the two sides had agreed a minimum price for imported Chinese solar panels, which EU manufacturers had claimed were being massively dumped in the EU market.

"We are confident that this price undertaking will stabilise the European solar panel market and will remove the injury that the dumping practices have caused to the European industry," he said.

"We have found an amicable solution that will result in a new equilibrium on the European solar panel market at a sustainable price level," Mr De Gucht said.

In June, Brussels imposed an emergency anti-dumping tariff of 11.8 per cent on imports of Chinese solar panels, which was set to rise to 47 per cent if no settlement was reached by August 6.

The dispute over solar panels and a series of other EU-China differences escalated sharply earlier this year, sparking fears the two major trading powers would find themselves locked into a disastrous trade war.

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