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Germany's Rösler fears EU-China trade war

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Germany's Rösler fears EU-China trade war
Photo: DPA
11:57 CEST+02:00
German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler called on Wednesday for negotiations on a widening solar panel dispute between the EU and China to avoid an all-out trade war that could hit further sectors.

Rösler, speaking on Germany's public ARD television, reiterated that Brussels' decision on Tuesday to impose anti-dumping duties on solar panel imports from China was a "serious mistake".

He said the German government had always made it clear that it wanted dialogue and not confrontation, and said the goal must be "to ultimately prevent a trade war that would encompass many more branches than just the photovoltaics branch".

"The (EU) Commission now still has every chance to take the road of negotiations and avoid a trade war between the EU and China," said Rösler, who is also vice chancellor in Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition government.

In response to the EU measures, Beijing announced Wednesday that it had opened an anti-dumping probe into European wine. Unlike Germany, France welcomed Brussels' decision to levy the tariffs against China.

Rösler spoke out against "protectionist measures" ahead of a lunch last week with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who was on a visit to Germany, after Merkel vowed Berlin would do everything it could to ensure a negotiated solution to the brewing trade conflict.

AFP/mry

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