The European Commission has confirmed that it has concluded its investigation into unfair subsidies for the Chinese solar energy manufacturing industry.
Press reports have claimed that the findings confirmed China’s government has been giving an unfair advantage to Chinese firms through subsidised loans, land and other benefits.
A spokesperson for the commission could not confirm the reports but did offer some reassurance that the findings would not affect the now concluded anti-dumping investigation.
“Let me clarify that the disclosed findings in the anti-subsidy case do not undermine the amicable solution with China which resulted in the undertaking applied from the beginning of August in the context of the anti-dumping proceeding,” said John Clancy, EU trade spokesman.
The investigation into the dumping of billions of euros worth of cut price solar products from China ended with the decision to impose a minimum import price on Chinese manufactured modules, cells and wafers. An annual import quota of Chinese products into the EU has also been established.
Earlier this month the EU opted against applying provisional measures in the anti-subsidy case and indicated that it was hoping to integrate the anti-subsidy investigation into the price undertaking established to prevent and compensate for dumping.
“The European Commission has now disclosed its findings in the anti-subsidy and anti-dumping proceedings concerning solar panels originating in the People’s Republic of China,” said Clancy.
“All interested parties, including the government of China, exporters, EU producers, importers, suppliers and users, will have a period of time to comment on these findings. The Commission will then consider these comments and determine what definitive action should be taken in the investigations. This action will be proposed to the Council, which will take the final decision,” explained Clancy.
“This disclosure is a standard part of the procedure in all anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigations. The content of the disclosure is confidential, in the sense that it is not a public document. However, the findings are made available to all interested parties to enable them to fully defend their interests.”
This week both Bloomberg and Reuters cited unnamed EU officials confirming that the investigation had found evidence of unfair subsidies.