China Retaliates with Trade Probe After EU Scrutinizes Solar, Wind Power

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China’s probe will examine wind turbines, photovoltaic cells (used in solar panels), security equipment, and other products and will conclude by January 10th, 2025, with a possible extension to April. 

In a retaliatory move, China’s Commerce Ministry announced an investigation into the European Union’s (EU) trade practices. This follows recent EU probes into Chinese companies in the wind power, solar, and security equipment sectors.

China’s probe will examine wind turbines, photovoltaic cells (used in solar panels), security equipment, and other products. The investigation will conclude by January 10th, 2025, with a possible extension to April. This move comes at the request of China’s Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

China’s investigation appears to directly respond to similar actions the EU took earlier this year. The EU launched probes into Chinese wind turbine companies, alleging unfair advantages due to potential subsidies. Additionally, the EU investigated two Chinese solar panel manufacturers bidding on a major solar project in Romania.

China Accuses EU of Protectionism

China has previously criticised the EU for protectionist policies and distorting the definition of subsidies in its investigations. This trade dispute extends beyond renewable energy, as the EU also raised tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles in June 2024, citing concerns about unfair competition for European automakers.

The EU’s move to impose tariffs on electric vehicles further escalated the trade dispute. With China’s latest investigation announcement, tensions appear to be rising.

 

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