Seven US Senators call for settlement of solar trade dispute with China

Six US Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator have sent a bipartisan letter to Vice President Joseph Biden, in which they call on the government to settle the trade dispute related to the imports of solar modules from China. The seven senators claim that an escalation of the trade issue may lead to additional U.S. duties and retaliation by China. »Therefore, in order to align the domestic solar industry, we ask you to bring folks together to develop a negotiated settlement that will lead to growth in all aspects of the solar industry,« the Senators wrote. The Senators are: Jon Tester (Mont.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Cory Booker (N.J.), John Walsh (Mont.) and Richard Burr (N.C.).
In mid-February, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) made affirmative determinations in its preliminary antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into Chinese solar imports, determining that the US solar industry was materially injured by the dumping of Chinese solar products on the US market and by the subsidization of these companies. The ITC passed its views on to the US Deperatment of Commerce (DOC) on Feb. 24. The DOC, which already applied punitive tariffs to Chinese solar imports in 2012, could impose further antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese PV imports as a result of these new investigations. The ITC launched the new antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations into imported crystalline silicon PV products made in China and Taiwan in response to petitions filed by SolarWorld Industries Americas Inc., the US subsidiary of German module manufacturer SolarWorld AG, in early January.
On Dec. 31, 2013, SolarWorld filed petitions against Chinese and Taiwanese solar manufacturers with the ITC and the DOC in which the company alleged that foreign manufacturers continue to sell PV products on the US market for below fair value by exploiting a loophole in the tariff orders issued by the DOC in December 2012. SolarWorld seeks to close the loophole, which it says enables Chinese producers to evade duties averaging about 31% by assembling modules from cells manufactured in third states, namely Taiwan.

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