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Factbox-EU probes on Chinese subsidies and imports

Published 19/04/2024, 13:53
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European?Union?flags fly outside the?European?Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 1, 2023.REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

(Reuters) - The European Union is reportedly set to launch an investigation into China's procurement of medical devices in a latest effort to protect home-grown manufacturers.

The EU has also launched several investigations into whether Chinese clean tech producers are dumping subsidised goods on its market and whether Chinese-owned companies unfairly benefit from subsidies while operating inside the EU.

The European Commission, which is carrying out the investigations, says its aim is to prevent unfair competition and market distortion.

Here's what you need to know about the investigations:

MEDICAL DEVICES

The EU could launch a probe into China's procurement of medical devices as early as mid-April, Bloomberg News reported on April 15, citing people familiar with the matter.

Under the EU's International Procurement Instrument, the European Commission can look into concerns that a third country's policies unfairly favour domestic suppliers, and could lead to the EU restricting that country's access to its public tenders.

WIND TURBINES

The EU is investigating subsidies received by Chinese suppliers of wind turbines destined for Europe, the bloc's anti-trust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on April 9.

It will look into wind park development in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria, Vestager said without naming specific companies.

China said the probe was "discriminatory" against Chinese enterprises and endorsed protectionism.

SOLAR PANELS

The Commission opened two investigations under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) into whether two Chinese bidders benefited excessively from subsidies in their offers in a public tender for a solar power park in Romania, it said on April 3.

The investigations concern a consortium composed of Romania's ENEVO and a unit of China's LONGi, and subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned Shanghai Electric Group.

The Commission has until Aug. 14 to take a decision on whether to block the contract, accept commitments from the companies to eliminate the distortion of competition, or not to object.

The Commission's first investigation launched under the FSR, concerning a Chinese train maker's participation in a Bulgarian tender for electric trains, ended after CRRC Qingdao Sifang Locomotive withdrew its tender.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Commission said on Sept. 13 it would launch an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles to determine whether to impose punitive tariffs on them.

It wants to find out if Chinese exports of EVs to the EU market are benefitting from excessive subsidies.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European?Union?flags fly outside the?European?Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 1, 2023.REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

China's commerce minister Wang Wentao said in April that U.S. and European assertions of excess Chinese EV capacity were baseless, while a Chinese industry body said the probe was stacked against Chinese manufacturers.

The investigation, officially launched on Oct. 4, will last up to 13 months. The Commission can impose provisional anti-subsidy duties nine months after the start of the probe.

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