Electronics Production | June 04, 2012

Wacker against trade duties on Chinese solar modules

Wacker Chemie AG has taken a firm stand against efforts to impose trade duties on Chinese-made solar modules in the European Union.
The Munich-based chemical company’s CEO, Rudolf Staudigl, issued a statement to that effect today. “We are convinced that protectionist measures will not help the domestic solar industry, but rather impair the photovoltaic technology’s future prospects”, Staudigl said. The US Department of Commerce decided to impose tariffs of up to 250 percent on Chinese-made solar modules imported into the US. Some market participants are in favor of a similar move in the European Union, too.

Experience would show, however, that trade barriers were not a suitable way of ensuring open and fair competition among the market’s participants, the CEO emphasized. Differences of opinion about balanced competitive conditions could only be resolved through political dialogue. Imposing sanctions, in contrast, would only inhibit competition. They could provoke a trade war, which would end up being a disadvantage for every company in the solar industry.

At the same time, Staudigl stressed that the lion’s share of value added is always created by local businesses when setting up solar systems – regardless of where the solar modules are manufactured. Moreover, additional cost burdens from tariffs for imported photovoltaic modules would hold back the competiveness of solar power within the energy mix, impairing the switchover to renewable energy sources in Germany, Staudigl said.


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