EU says China deal will survive challenge

View photos
European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht gestures while answering questions from journalists during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, July 29, 2013. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht assessed the weekend agreement between the Europe Union and China in their dispute over solar panels, with Chinese exporters agreeing to sell their products at a minimum price in the EU market. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's Trade Commissioner says the settlement with Beijing over Chinese solar panels exports will easily survive a court challenge from EU producers.

Karel De Gucht on Monday defended the weekend agreement that ended one of the biggest trade disputes between China and Europe.

The EU had accused China of selling solar panels in the EU at below-cost prices, harming European manufacturers. The row threatened to escalate into a full-blown trade war.

However, the EU solar panels industry slammed the weekend's deal, whereby China would charge minimum prices, claiming its survival was still under threat. The industry has announced proceedings before the EU's high court.

De Gucht said though that "they have no case" since the deal remained within international law and protected the EU industry.