Chinese Firms Found To Be Dumping, Subsidizing Solar Cells | October 15, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 42 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 42 | p. 10 | News of The Week
Issue Date: October 15, 2012 | Web Date: October 12, 2012

Chinese Firms Found To Be Dumping, Subsidizing Solar Cells

Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE

Chinese polysilicon solar-cell manufacturers could be hit with duties under a ruling issued last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The determination marks the near end of a yearlong investigation.

The department found that 61 Chinese firms had sold solar cells and panels below cost, a practice known as dumping, and had obtained illegal subsidies from the Chinese government. The investigation did not include thin-film solar manufacturers.

For the two largest companies, Suntech Power and Trina Solar, the tariffs will be 35.97% and 23.75%, respectively, according to Commerce officials. These duties are intended to even the playing field between U.S. and Chinese companies, the officials stressed, and would be paid by U.S. importers. However, before the penalty can be finalized, the U.S. International Trade Commission must determine that the Chinese imports have materially harmed U.S. companies. That ruling is expected in late November.

The initial complaint was filed last year by a coalition of seven U.S. companies and led by SolarWorld, a German manufacturer with facilities in Oregon. The coalition welcomed parts of the determination but warned of a loophole that it says would allow Chinese companies to avoid duties by using cells made in other countries and assembled into panels in China (C&EN, June 4, page 26).

On the other hand, the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, another U.S. solar trade association, warned of a global solar trade war that may stymie the expanding industry. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also warned of a trade conflict and added that the decision “runs counter to global efforts to jointly combat the challenges of climate change and energy security.”

China is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar cells, exporting more than $3.1 billion in solar cells to the U.S. last year.

 
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Comments
Cis T (October 12, 2012 1:23 PM)
Do these firms have any US investors?
Maigen H (October 13, 2012 10:58 PM)
At least 14 companies have laid off workers due to China's predatory trade practices and two companies will be permenantly closing, a Schott Solar facility in New Mexico and a Sharp Solar facility in Tennessee. Chinese trade practices have also harmed manufacturers in other countries besides the United States.


C Zu (October 15, 2012 1:57 PM)
Interestingly, the Chinese solar panel companies are importing key raw materials from the U.S, and those materials are subsidied by the U.S government.
Eugene (October 16, 2012 2:14 PM)
Like what? Sand?
zu (October 22, 2012 12:18 PM)
If you can educate yourself, the US companies like Hemlock, the world’s biggest maker of polysilicon is supplying Chinese solar panel makers. You can call polysilicon as sand if you prefer... :-)

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