German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she’ll work to resolve a European Union trade dispute with China over complaints that the Chinese solar industry is flooding the global market with cheap products.
Merkel, speaking at a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Berlin yesterday, said that she’ll strive to ensure no permanent tariffs are imposed by the EU on China over its solar products and will work over the next six months for a solution to the dispute. Li said that he “decisively” rejected the imposition of EU duties.
Germany will work hard so that “issues we currently have, for example in the areas of solar energy and telecommunications, will be addressed through as many talks as possible and won’t lead to conflict, leading to mutual tariffs,” Merkel told reporters. “We don’t believe that this will help us.”
Li, who chose Germany as the only European Union country on the agenda for his first overseas trip as premier, said that he wanted China-Germany relations to serve as a model for his country’s ties with the wider EU. He said that he “values” Merkel’s position on solar tariffs.
“We don’t agree with this decision and we decisively reject this decision,” Li said through a translator, when asked by a reporter about the prospect of EU import duties. “This decision will not only harm jobs in China as well as development in the affected industries, but it will also affect development and endanger industry in Europe.”
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