Leading solar module supplier Trina Solar has withdrawn from the European Union’s price undertaking and will instead service its European customers through overseas manufacturing facilities.

The company confirmed the news in a statement to the market this morning. Trina said current interpretations of the undertaking “unfairly limit the company’s growth potential” in Europe and “are disruptive to the company’s ongoing global expansion strategy”.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the European Union had launched an expiry review of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, confirming that they will stay in place for at least another year. Trina said that this is “contrary to the principles of free and fair trade”, concluding that it was in the company’s “best interest” to exit the undertaking.

“We believe the current iteration of the UT agreement misinterprets the rules and scope of the original UT, and adversely affects the execution of our global expansion strategy. In particular, the prohibition of manufacturing modules in overseas facilities, regardless of whether the modules will be sold to the EU or to non-EU markets is an obvious misapplication to the UT agreement,” Jifan Gao, chief executive at Trina Solar, said.

The development will serve as a blow to the undertaking given Trina’s ability to serve European markets from the company’s manufacturing facilities located elsewhere in the world.

Although several Chinese manufacturers have been removed from the undertaking due to perceived breaches, Trina is the first to withdraw voluntarily and is the most prominent manufacturer now operating outside of it. Should more manufacturers follow in Trina’s footsteps, it would heap doubt onto the future of the undertaking.

Trina holds an already strong position in the UK market but it is understood that if the minimum import price was to be removed, the manufacturer would target the UK more strongly and aim for a market share upwards of 20%.