China whining about Europe's solar panel tariff is the pot calling the kettle black

A recent item in the online publication PVTech reveals China has told the European Union to expect trouble if it imposes trade duties on Chinese solar products.

PVTech further reports that Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China deputy representative Chong Quan asked for the “fair and equitable” treatment of Chinese PV companies to reach a “mutually beneficial” solution to this case.

It is understandable if Europeans are ticked off at China over being two-faced on solar panels. China itself imposes stiff duties on anything exported from other countries there, and solar panels are no exception.

To see this for yourself, go to a web site called and figure out what it would cost you to sell solar panels in China. (The site charges for this service but the first ten calculations are free.) For example, if you run through the calculations for exporting $1,000-worth of solar panels from the U.S. to China, you'll find that China adds 27% to the price its citizens pay, between import duties and VAT.

Such practices are apparently OK when the Chinese use them, but not OK when other nations use the same practices with Chinese goods.

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The Editor’s Desk focuses on the engineering profession and its impact on society, trends in engineering compensation, and the education of engineers.


Lee Teschler

Leland serves as Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design. He has 34 years of Service and holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan, a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of...
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