Issue Date: November 14, 2011
Solar Dumping Probe Advances
The Commerce Department announced last week that it will formally begin its investigation of charges that China is selling photovoltaic panels in the U.S. below their cost of production. The “dumping” allegation was filed by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, an organization of seven U.S. manufacturers of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels (C&EN, Oct. 31, page 9). Only one of the seven coalition members has identified itself: SolarWorld Industries America Inc., an Oregon company. In a Nov. 8 announcement, DOC said it had determined there is sufficient justification for it to move ahead with the investigation. The next step is for the U.S. International Trade Commission to determine whether the U.S. solar companies were injured; that decision is expected on Dec. 5. If injury is found, DOC will continue its investigation, which would likely be completed by mid-2012. The claims concern only crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, not thin-film or other photovoltaic products. Along with dumping, the petition charges China with illegally subsidizing its solar companies, which are the world’s largest solar panel makers.
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