China open to dropping EU import tax

China has agreed to discuss dropping its EU wine tax, a move that would bring to an end a trade dispute that threatened European wine exports.

The tit-for-tat row started when the EU announced plans in June to tax the import of Chinese solar panels; the Chinese government hit back with anti-dumping duties on EU imports.

If the tax is lifted there will be a sigh of relief in wine exporting regions such as Bordeaux, to which China has become a top export market by value and volume in recent years.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: "After weeks of intensive talks, I can announce that I am satisfied with the offer of a price undertaking submitted by China’s solar panel exporters, as foreseen by the EU’s trade defence legislation. This is the amicable solution that both the EU and China were looking for.

“We are confident that this price undertaking will stabilise the European solar panel market and will remove the injury that the dumping practices have caused to the European industry. We have found an amicable solution that will result in a new equilibrium on the European solar panel market at a sustainable price level.” 

“Upon consultation of the advisory committee composed of Member States, I intend to table this offer for approval by the European Commission.”