US Trade Commission launches new investigations into Chinese solar imports

SolarWorld alleges that Chinese manufacturers continue to sell PV products on the US market for below fair value by exploiting a loophole in the tariff orders issued in December 2012.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched 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.
On Dec. 31, 2013, SolarWorld filed petitions against Chinese and Taiwanese solar manufacturers with the ITC and the US Department of Commerce (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 countries. By circumventing the trade remedies, SolarWorld says, »China has continued to improperly subsidize its export-intensive campaign and sell below production costs in the US market to seize market share.«
The ITC will now determine whether purported dumping and/or subsidization of Chinese solar companies continues to materially injure the US solar industry. The ITC expects to issue a determination on the investigations on Feb. 14, 2014. It will then pass its views on to the DOC on Feb. 24. The DOC could impose further antidumping and countervailing duties if it is determined that the US solar industry has in fact been materially injured.
The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) condemned SolarWorld’s decision to file the new petitions in no uncertain terms: »We oppose today’s escalation of the US-China solar trade conflict. More litigation is the wrong approach. Trade litigation is a blunt instrument and, alone, incapable of resolving the complex competetiveness issues that exist between the US and Chinese solar industries. It’s time to end this conflict and negotiations must play a role.«
© PHOTON

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