Once again Chinese companies stand accused of dumping goods in Europe. This time it’s solar panels. What makes this incident different from the others is the value of the exports, some £16 billion plus. It will be almost another year until the EU gives its verdict, whilst the US has already slapped import duties following a similar complaint in the States. Worryingly the Chinese are strongly hinting that they aren’t going to take this lying down, and some retaliatory measure would follow any EU sanctions. But how much of this is a bluff on the part of the Chinese? China seeks to adjust its economic growth model, looking to switch its reliance on exports to domestic consumption. The task is monumental enough as it is without the further complication of a trade war with the European Union and the US.

The truth remains that Chinas success is linked to our own. European manufacturers should be protected from unfair competition from China or elsewhere. Hand in hand with that is the need to promote a win-win situation for everyone. Restricting trade with China leaves everyone a loser.

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