Published On: Wed, Apr 10th, 2024

EU promises China crackdown – ‘it’s impossible to compete’ | World | News

In a move described as a response to a “dangerous” warning on the economy, the European Union has initiated a significant crackdown on Chinese state subsidies, particularly focusing on the wind turbine industry.

The European Commission has launched an investigation into Chinese manufacturers of wind turbines used across several EU member states, including Spain, Greece, France, Romania, and Bulgaria.

The probe comes amid concerns that Chinese subsidies are unfairly benefiting these manufacturers, allowing them to undercut local producers.

China currently dominates the global wind turbine manufacturing market, accounting for half of the world’s supply. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, criticised China for flooding the market with what she described as “cheap copycat technology”.

“When you go back to do business in Europe, what follows you are very cheap products which are produced with what seems to be a production capacity that is heavily subsidised, which makes it impossible to compete against it,” said Vestager.

The investigation is part of a broader effort by the EU to scrutinise Chinese subsidies, particularly in sectors such as renewable energy and electric vehicles. Under the EU’s “Green Deal Industrial Plan,” European manufacturers were expected to produce around 40 percent of solar panels, but the current figure stands at only 3 percent, with the majority being imported from China.

Brussels-based campaign group WindEurope highlighted the significant price difference between Chinese and European-made wind turbines, with Chinese manufacturers offering prices up to 50 percent lower and more lenient financing terms.

The EU’s actions against Chinese subsidies extend beyond the wind turbine industry. Last year, the European Commission launched an investigation into electric cars imported from China and scrutinised suspicious bids for public tenders for solar panels in Romania.

The Brussels bloc has also introduced the Foreign Subsidies Regulation, granting it additional powers to investigate and block deals that may unfairly benefit from state support.

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