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Chinese solar firms protest over EU duties

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-05-24 10:09

Chinese solar firms protest over EU duties

Solar panels on display at an expo in Haikou, Hainan province. A Ministry of Commerce official said the European Commission has been using the solar panel case as a bargaining chip to seek compromise from China in specific sectors, such as telecoms. [Photo/China Daily] 

Major Chinese solar panel makers on Thursday protested over punitive tariffs the European Union plans to levy on Chinese-made photovoltaic (PV) products.

Protests at more than 40 solar companies broke out as EU member states begin voting on proposed anti-dumping duties ranging from 37 percent to 68 percent Friday. The provisional rates will be effective from June 6 if the proposal is passed.

Representatives of three solar panel giants, Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co, Trina Solar Ltd and Canadian Solar Inc, held a press conference Thursday in Beijing, lashing out at the EU penalties and calling for free trade.

In a joint statement, the three said any market restrictive measures would hurt China's solar industry, but would also hinder solar application and development in Europe and have a major negative impact on the EU's economy and employment.

According to a research report by German consulting firm Prognos, the punitive duties could lead to job losses of more than 200,000 in Europe over three years.

Some 1,000 workers gathered at a Yingli factory compound in the city of Baoding in northern China's Hebei Province, holding signs of "No Trade Protection." Workers from other solar firms protested across the country.

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