WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17, 2012 — The 210-company Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing today reacted positively to the news that the U.S. Department of Commerce found Chinese manufacturers guilty of dumping solar cells and panels into the U.S. market, calling it a very positive first step.
Earlier today, Commerce issued its preliminary determination in response to a dumping case filed by Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America Inc. As a result of its finding, Commerce imposed preliminary margins of 31.14 percent for Trina, 31.22 percent for Suntech, 31.18 percent for others and 249.96 percent for China-wide (companies that did not participate in the case).
"The verdict is in," said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld. "In addition to its preliminary finding that Chinese solar companies were on the receiving end of at least 10 WTO-illegal subsidies, Commerce has now confirmed that Chinese manufacturers are guilty of illegally dumping solar cells and panels in the U.S. market. We appreciate the Commerce staff's hard work on this matter."
Commerce also granted SolarWorld's request for a finding of "critical circumstances" to counter the recent flood of Chinese imports into the U.S. market ahead of the decision. As a result, the preliminary dumping tariffs will be retroactive 90 days from the date the decision is published in the Federal Register.
On October 19, 2011, SolarWorld, with the support of six other solar manufacturers including Helios Solar Works, based in Milwaukee, Wisc. and MX Solar USA, based in Somerset, N.J., filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions with Commerce and the International Trade Commission. The petitions alleged that Chinese manufacturers were illegally dumping solar cells and panels in the U.S. market and receiving billions in WTO-illegal subsidies. Commerce issued its preliminary decision on the countervailing duty petition on March 17, 2012.
"Commerce's ruling in the SolarWorld case is a bellwether decision," added Steve Ostrenga, chief executive officer of Helios. "It underscores the importance of domestic manufacturing to the U.S. economy and will help determine whether the country will be a global competitor in clean technologies or outsource them China. It is also critically important for thousands of U.S. workers."
Today's decision is expected to have an impact on the U.S. marketplace for Chinese manufacturers since it will begin to remove the advantage they have had as a result of their illegal trade practices. However, it will not disrupt solar growth or solar installations in the United States.
Brinser further stated, "Commerce today put importers and purchasers on notice about the consequences of importing illegally subsidized and dumped products from China. We understand U.S. Customs and other federal agencies are already aggressively enforcing the countervailing tariffs in order to prevent circumvention, and we expect they will be equally vigilant with the anti-dumping tariffs."
After today's decision, Commerce officials will continue their investigations, including confirming that the information provided by the Government of China and the Chinese manufacturers was accurate. Commerce is scheduled to release its final determinations in both cases in late July, although that announcement is likely to be postponed until late September. The International Trade Commission will issue its final determination on whether the U.S. solar manufacturing industry was harmed by Chinese trade practices later this fall.
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The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, founded by seven companies that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States, includes about 210 employers of more than 17,000 workers that have registered their support for CASM's case. For details about CASM, go to www.americansolarmanufacturing.org; email media questions to firstname.lastname@example.org; other questions or comments may be emailed to email@example.com.
CONTACT: Lauren Simpson