Business / Industries

US to levy punitive duties on Chinese PV cells

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-05-18 10:13

WASHINGTON - The US Commerce Department announced on Thursday its affirmative preliminary determinations in anti-dumping duty (AD) on Chinese crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, whether or not assembled into modules.

The Commerce Department determined that Chinese producers and exporters sold solar cells in the US market at dumping margins ranging from 31.14 percent to 249.96 percent. Imports of solar cells from China were valued at an estimated $3.1 billion in 2011.

The department said it was scheduled to make its final determination in early October 2012. If it made an affirmative final determination, and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) also made an affirmative final determination that these products materially injure or threaten material injury to the US industry, the Commerce Department would issue an AD order. The ITC was scheduled to make its final injury determination on or before November 19, 2012.

The department initiated AD and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on imports of solar cells from China on November 8, 2011, which responded to a petition filed on October 19, 2011 by SolarWorld Industries America Incorporation in the US state of Oregon.

The Commerce Department had already announced on March 20, 2012 its preliminary determination that these products received countervailable subsidies ranging from 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent.

Trade tensions with China are a particularly sensitive issue as the United States is trying to boost its exports to revitalize a flagging economy and slash the unemployment rate in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent global economic recession that have hurt the US economy badly and sparked a new wave of protectionism.

Observers see trade protectionism as a short-sighted approach, while some US officials believe a deeper trade integration into other regions could help the United States create more jobs and improve its competitiveness.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.

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