China retaliates in fight with EU over solar imports

China is starting an investigation into whether the European Union is unfairly subsidizing solar exports, the latest in a series of Beijing’s trade disputes with Europe and the United States.

China’s commerce ministry said today the anti-dumping probe will focus on whether the EU sold solar-grade polysilicon, a key material in the production of solar cells, at artificially low prices in China.

The move comes after the EU launched a similar investigation in September into whether Chinese companies were selling panels in Europe at up to 80 percent below actual cost.

The U.S. earlier this month imposed final duties of up to 250 percent on imports of Chinese-made solar panels to counter what it said was improper government subsidies.

Beijing has warned that the disputes will provoke greater trade friction in the new energy market, which is seen by many governments as an increasingly important source of job growth.

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