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China Reacts to Solar Dumping Claim With Own Probe Into U.S.

Friday, 25 Nov 2011 07:27 PM

 

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China reacted to a U.S. probe into whether solar cells are being dumped into export markets by the Asian country’s manufacturers by saying it will begin its own investigation into American state support for renewable power.

China’s Ministry of Commerce will consider the stimulus programs of the states of Washington, Massachusetts, Ohio and California, and two others in New Jersey, it said today.

U.S. renewable-energy policies and subsidies violate World Trade Organization rules and effect Chinese exports to the U.S., according to a complaint cited on the ministry’s website today.

Its investigation, expected to be completed as early as May 2012, follows the opening of a U.S. Commerce Department anti- dumping and countervailing duty probe into Chinese solar cells. Duties can be imposed on imports that have benefited from state subsidies to counter damage to local producers. Three U.S. solar companies collapsed this year as prices for solar cells slumped.

Monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon solar cell costs plunged 12.7 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, from mid-October to mid-November, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

The U.S. unit of Bonn-based SolarWorld AG and six other companies asked the Obama administration to impose duties on Chinese imports they say are being dumped, or sold at prices below production costs, and subsidized by unfair state aid.

A U.S. International Trade Commission panel will vote on whether there’s a case to continue with a probe on Dec. 2.

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products and the New Energy Chamber of Commerce in the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce filed the complaint that lead to the ministry’s investigation. The China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance, a trade group, planned to file a request with the ministry on U.S. polysilicon imports “soon,” Deputy Secretary-General Gao Hongling said Nov. 21.


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