Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing
US solar panel manufacturers
 

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CASM Statement on Start of Chinese Investigation of U.S. and South Korean Polysilicon Manufacturers

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2012 — The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) today issued the following statement, attributable to Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Oregon.

"Today's announcement by the Chinese government proves once and for all that China is intent on unfairly and illegally allowing its manufacturers to dominate the global solar industry. While it was not unexpected, the announcement of retaliatory investigations into U.S. polysilicon production is harmful to the international trade system. The Chinese government has been telegraphing this move since last October. It is a common Chinese tactic and an abuse of international trade rules. It represents yet another cynical attempt by the Chinese government to bully the U.S. government by injecting politics into a judicial investigation that is sanctioned under international trade rules, as today's announcement tacitly confirms. Fortunately, when the Chinese government has attempted such blatant retaliatory actions in the past, those actions have been declared illegal by the World Trade Organization.

"The American people understand that the Chinese do not play by the rules and are demanding action. In one recent poll, more than two-thirds of voters think China's violations of international trade rules are costing the U.S. jobs. As a result, 62 percent of voters favor getting tough on China's illegal trade practices.

"Today's announcement is also an attempt to decimate another competitive American industry: the polysilicon industry. It is an attempt to shut down the Chinese market all while the Chinese government injects billions of dollars of likely WTO-illegal subsidies to build up its own domestic polysilicon companies, as it outlined in its latest Five Year Plan. At the same time, the Chinese government and its agents are browbeating U.S. manufacturers into arguing for unilateral trade disarmament. This ploy affects not just the U.S. solar industry, but also the semiconductor industry, another industry in which Chinese companies lag American manufacturers."

In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary countervailing duties ranging of up to 4.73 percent against Chinese solar manufacturers in response to WTO-illegal government subsidies. This was followed by preliminary antidumping subsidies of 31 percent to 249.96 percent in May. The Commerce Department will announce its final determination in both cases on October 9, 2012. The International Trade Commission will announce its final ruling on the cases in November 7, 2012.

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The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, founded by seven companies that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States, has more than 215 employers of more than 17,500 workers who have registered their support for CASM's case. The founding manufacturers have plants in nearly every region in the United States, including the Northwest and California, the Southwest, Midwest, Northeast and South and support several thousand U.S. manufacturing jobs. For details about CASM, go to www.americansolarmanufacturing.com; email media questions to media@americansolarmanufacturing.org; other questions or comments may be emailed to contact@americansolarmanufacturing.org.

CONTACT:  Lauren Simpson
903-243-2201 (cell)
media@americansolarmanufacturing.org