Nov 8, 2012 - The US will impose the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of Chinese crystalline silicon solar cells announced by the Department of Commerce (DoC) last month after the US International Trade Commission (USITC) yesterday confirmed the levies.
The duties becoming effective was subject to a decision by USITC on whether Chinese practices are causing damage to the US industry. The six members of the commission on Wednesday unanimously voted that the US industry has been materially injured by the imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) products from China, giving the green light to the Commerce Department to issue anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on such imports.
DoC on October 10 announced final anti-dumping levies ranging from 18.32% to 249.96% on Chinese imports of crystalline silicon PV cells, whether or not assembled into modules. It also set final anti-subsidy duties in the range of 14.78% to 15.97%.
USITC at the same time did not upheld the Commerce Department's critical circumstances determinations and, as a result, the duties will not apply retroactively to products imported in the US before the department's preliminary determinations in May. Commerce had envisaged 90-day retroactivity.
The trade case was brought in October last year by Germany-based solar panel maker Solarworld AG (ETR:SWV) on behalf of a group of seven US manufacturers.
Gordon Brinser, president of Solarworld Industries America Inc and leader of the Coalition of American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), hailed the USITC decision, saying it confirmed that Chinese manufacturers, with Chinese government support, had "attempted to game the international trading system in order to gain a virtual monopoly on solar cells and modules sales in the US market."
China's Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (NYSE:STP), the world's largest solar panel maker, on its part, hit at Solarworld with Mick McDaniel, managing director of Suntech America calling its campaign hypocritical. "The continued growth of trade barriers represents a serious challenge to the U.S. solar industry, for American jobs, and for energy consumers globally," McDaniel said.
"We are in the midst of a global trade war now, and Europe will be defending itself vigorously in the footsteps of the US decision," said Liangsheng Miao, chairman and chief executive of another Chinese solar company, Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:YGE).
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