Trina Cancels Protest of EU Solar Complaint on Government Advice

Trina Solar Ltd., China’s fourth-biggest solar module maker, quashed plans by its workers to protest Solarworld AG’s anti-dumping complaint to the EU Commission on the advice of government officials.

“The local government considers the meeting inappropriate,” Gong Yingwen, corporate communications manager at Trina’s public affairs department, said by phone today. Plans for a demonstration to protest the EU complaint were also canceled at Hebei-based Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. when weather conditions hindered the action.

Solarworld, Germany’s largest solar-panel maker, is leading a push for the European Commission to probe whether Chinese rivals sold products at a loss on regional markets. The U.S. has proposed anti-dumping duties ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese solar manufacturers after the Commerce Department in May ruled they sold products below costs.

Workers at Trina’s Changzhou plant planned to protest today because they were “outraged” by the “extreme trade protectionism” that they said will harm them while doing little to benefit Europe, according to a July 31 e-mailed statement sent by Gong.

The canceled protest by 10,000 workers at Yingli Green Energy’s five plants was due to “weather conditions at the Tianjin and Hainan plants,” Liang Tian, a company spokesperson, said by phone today.

China’s exports of solar cells and panels to Europe each year are almost the equivalent of $25 billion worth of imports of vehicles from the continent, according to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery & Electronic Products.

“We may take other measures in the future,” Trina’s Gong said. Yingli will issue an internal statement to employees in lieu of the demonstration, Liang said.

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