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China Daily Website

US to levy steep duties on Chinese solar products

Updated: 2012-11-08 09:36
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON - The US International Trade Commission (USITC) decided Wednesday that the US solar industry was materially injured by Chinese imports, thus allowing Washington to impose punitive duties on Chinese solar products.

The ruling, backed by all six commissioners of the federal bipartisan trade panel, cleared the way for the US Commerce Department to issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules from China.

The Commerce Department determined last month that Chinese producers and exporters sold these products in the US market at dumping margins ranging from 18.32 percent to 249.96 percent, and they received countervailable subsidies of 14.78 percent to 15.97 percent.

The punitive tariff orders would apply to goods that entered the US market after March 20 and May 17 when the Commerce Department made affirmative preliminary determinations on countervailing and antidumping investigations respectively.

The latest USITC decision concluded the probe that commenced on Nov 8, 2011, in response to a petition filed on Oct 19, 2011, by SolarWorld Industries America Incorporation in the state of Oregon.

The United States imported 1.5 million kilowatts of these solar products with $1.9 billion from China in 2011, which accounted for 57.4 percent of the US market, according to USITC data. The US domestic industry comprised 14 producers with 1,856 employees, producing $790.5 million of similar products.

China and the United States are two of the world's biggest markets for solar, wind and other renewable energy technology. Both governments are encouraging their own suppliers in order to generate higher value added growth.

Trade tensions with China are especially sensitive at a time when the United States and other Western economies want to boost exports to revive economic growth and cut unemployment.

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.