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American Solar Manufacturers Appeal Loophole in Trade Remedy Cases against Illegal Chinese Practices

  American Solar Manufacturers Appeal Loophole in Trade Remedy Cases against
  Illegal Chinese Practices

   Coalition: ‘Now we hope to finish the work. American jobs depend on it.’

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- February 1, 2013

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturers (CASM) today announced appeals
in recent trade cases to counter illegal Chinese trade practices. A key
appeal, according to CASM, challenges a loophole in the scope of the U.S.
trade remedies that allows Chinese producers to evade duties and continue to
benefit from illegal, export-intensive subsidies and dump product into the
U.S. market.

Appeals filed today with the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York
challenge the Department of Commerce’s formulation of the cases’ scope to
cover all solar cells and panels manufactured in China but not cells
manufactured elsewhere and assembled into panels in China, CASM announced. The
SolarWorld-led coalition argues that Chinese producers of solar panels made
from photovoltaic cells produced elsewhere receive the same illegal Chinese
subsidies and illegally dump at the same artificially low prices as other
Chinese manufacturers. From the 2011 outset of its cases, CASM says,
SolarWorld’s scope covered both cells and panels; however, the Department of
Commerce curtailed it, the coalition says.

“With our cases, the U.S. government went a long way in investigating and
attempting to halt the anti-competitive and destructive impacts of China’s
illegal trade practices on America’s domestic solar industry,” said Gordon
Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Oregon.
“Now we are looking to finish the job. American jobs depend on it.”

CASM represents a still-growing coalition representing more than 230 U.S.
solar installers, integrators and producers employing more than 18,000
American workers. The National Renewable Energy Laboratories, according to
CASM, has concluded that it costs more to produce and ship solar technology
for the U.S. market from China than from the United States. In the cases, CASM
says, Commerce also found that due to the many illegal categories of illegal
subsidies, Chinese producers were selling exports in the U.S. market at prices
below their costs of production. The bipartisan U.S. International Trade
Commission (ITC) voted 6-0 that China’s trade practices were harming U.S.
manufacturing. More than 25 solar manufacturers of all kinds have dramatically
downsized, filed for bankruptcy or quit the business since 2010, CASM says.

In late 2012, after Commerce’s year-long investigation found illegal Chinese
subsidization and pricing, the department imposed import duties ranging from
24 percent up to more than 250 percent on solar imports of crystalline silicon
solar technology made in China. But because Commerce’s final orders excluded
panels assembled in China from cells produced elsewhere, CASM says, Chinese
producers can grow silicon crystal, slice that crystal into solar wafers,
outsource conversion of those wafers into cells to Taiwan or elsewhere, then
bring them back for assembly into panels for export to the U.S. market without
facing any measure to offset the anti-competitive effects of China’s illegal
subsidies and U.S. pricing.

In addition to the scope issue, SolarWorld’s appeals challenge U.S. government
determinations:

  *Not to investigate Chinese subsidies on aluminum extrusions and rolled
    glass, which the Department of Commerce has found in other, similar cases
    to be illegally subsidized and dumped in the U.S. market.
  *Granting separate, lower duty rates for several large Chinese companies
    such as Trina Solar, Hanwha SolarOne, Chint Solar and JA Solar that should
    not have qualified for such rates because the companies failed to provide
    sufficient evidence that they were not ultimately owned or controlled by
    the Chinese government.

SolarWorld co-founded a coalition in Europe that is similar to CASM but called
EU ProSun. The European coalition expects the European Commission this spring
to announce preliminary findings on its trade allegations about Chinese solar
imports, CASM says.

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, founded by seven companies
that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States, has more than
230 employers with over 18,000 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.org; email
media questions to media@americansolarmanufacturing.org; other questions or
comments may be emailed to contact@americansolarmanufacturing.org.

Contact:

Coalition for American Solar Manufacturers
Tim Brightbill, 202-719-3138
media@americansolarmanufacturing.org
 
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