China and the European Union: The Solar Dispute from a Practitioner’s Viewpoint (26 Nov 2014)

East Asian International Economic Law & Policy Programme (EAIEL)
Asian Institute of International Financial Law
Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong


China and the European Union: The Solar Dispute from a Practitioner’s Viewpoint

Arnoud Willems
Partner, Sidley Austin, Brussels & Senior Fellow, EAIEL

Wednesday, 26 November 2014
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong

Chair: Professor C.L. Lim

The relationship between China and its major trading partners is critical for the well-being of the world. Products from China however are the main target of anti-dumping duties. This is one of the main annoyances for the Chinese government (and Chinese companies). Recently, the EU imposed 68% additional duties on the importation of solar panels into the EU. The export value of Chinese solar panels to the EU was EUR 22 billion per year. These additional duties have a tremendous downward effect on sales to the EU. The seminar proposes to discuss the background to this high-profile dispute in the cutting-edge area of green technology, and how trade partners like the EU and China manage such disputes in practice. It will appeal to all those who are interested in the realities of the contemporary commercial relationship between the EU and China, and the nature of global commercial rivalry over green technology.

Arnoud Willems is involved in the solar panel disputes. Together with his colleagues he has defended the interests of several Chinese exporting producers during the investigation, undertaking and challenges at the EU court. Arnoud leads the EU Trade and Customs team at Sidley Austin and is one of the founding members of Sidley’s Brussels office. He advises companies on how to benefit from trade and customs rules, as well as from the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of trade agreements. Arnoud has had a long involvement in policy debates on competitiveness, the application of WTO rules to the energy sector, climate change, and the impact of the new EU energy regulation, particularly with respect to the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) companies and governments. He is a Senior Fellow of the EAIEL Programme at HKU.