Germany mulls solar panel anti-dumping suit vs China

BERLIN Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:45pm IST

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's environment ministry is considering launching anti-dumping proceedings against China over its financial support for solar power firms amid a bitter price war in the industry that has left many German panel producers fighting for survival.

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told German broadcaster ZDF late on Thursday that there had to be fair competition in the global market and anti-dumping proceedings might be one way of ensuring this.

Altmaier recently suggested higher import duties as another way to prevent price dumping.

"It is also being looked into whether anti-dumping procedures can be launched against China," he said.

The ministry was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

Germany's once-booming solar panel makers are struggling to digest steep cuts in state support and increasing competition.

German firm Solarworld recently brought a suit with American firms in the United States against cheap Chinese imports, with a degree of success.

Solarworld chief executive Frank Asbeck said Chinese firms were making losses but enjoyed financial support from the government. German firms have said they are to file a suit with the European Commission, with the backing of the Environment Ministry.

(Writing by Alexandra Hudson)

(This story corrects the last paragraph to show German firms have not filed a suit with the EC, but that they plan to)

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