Business / Economy

Solar ruling dims Sino-US co-op

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-19 11:38

BEIJING -- The latest US ruling on Chinese solar products sent negative signals of trade protectionism to the world and will inevitably impair bilateral economic relations.

The US Department of Commerce on Tuesday set final dumping margins on imported photovoltaic products from China, paving the way for the US government to impose punitive duties on the products in the months ahead.

The move is an obvious abuse of trade remedies and a trade protectionist measure in disguise, hurting both countries' solar industries.

Chinese companies presented hard evidence during the US solar investigation process proving that dumping was not occurring.

But it is a pity that the evidence was ignored, and there were major flaws in the US probe that were not in line with the World Trade Organization rules.

The investigation was irresponsible, showing a lack of honesty and sincerity on the US side in seeking a proper solution to the trade dispute.

As the US economy undergoes a slow recovery, Washington has repeatedly resorted to trade protectionism targeting imports from other countries.

However, protectionist measures, which seemingly safeguard US enterprises, will only slow industry development and drag down the global recovery.

Punitive duties on Chinese solar products will eventually raise costs for American companies that use China as a source of cells, wafers or other materials used to make solar products.

It has become common consensus that curbing trade protectionism is crucial in fighting the current global economic downturn. Washington talked the talk, but failed to walk the walk.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the future of the China-US relationship will depend on building mutual interests and respect through unlocking opportunity, expanding trade, and creating a level playing field for businesses.

He made the remarks ahead of the 25th Session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), held from Dec 16 to 18 in Chicago to work on managing trade disputes.

Last month, US President Barack Obama also promised to deepen economic ties and enhance bilateral engagements when meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

The US ruling went against the efforts of both sides to create a sound business environment for the world's top two economies, which are highly complementary and interdependent.

China and the United States are each other's second-largest trade partner, with trade volume exploding from less than $2.5 billion in 1979 to over $520 billion in 2013.

China is among the top three export markets for 42 states in the United States and is of growing importance to American economic growth and job creation.

Repeated trade disputes will poison economic ties and undoubtedly cast a shadow over the prospects of bilateral cooperation.

China hopes the United States will honor its commitments, refrain from abusing trade remedy measures and create a fair environment for Chinese enterprises and investment.

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