The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) initiated antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against the EU on imported solar grade polysilicon, on November 1, 2012. Polysilicon is a key input for the production solar panels. MOFCOM earlier this year initiated similar investigations against the U.S. and Korea. Additionally, on November 5, 2012, China requested WTO consultations with the EU and certain member states regarding domestic content restrictions, German government subsidies, and favorable loans from the European Investment Bank.

These actions by China appear to be in retaliation to trade actions taken the by the EU. As discussed in the October 2012 edition of the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, the EU initiated an antidumping investigation on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules and key components (i.e., cells and wafers) originating in China on September 6, 2012. On November 8, 2012, the EU also initiated a countervailing duty investigation on the same solar products.