SolarWorld Appeals Two Trade-Case Findings to Court of International Trade
in New York
Appeals could significantly raise import duties for many Chinese solar
HILLSBORO, Ore. -- September 5, 2013
SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, has
submitted arguments to appeal U.S. Department of Commerce determinations that
the company believes weakened resulting trade remedies. In particular,
SolarWorld argues that numerous Chinese solar producers failed to show they
were free of Chinese government control and that Commerce wrongly undervalued
aluminum frames used in Chinese solar-panel production, significantly
understated antidumping duties.
“We are exhausting all avenues to engage well-established international trade
law in countering China’s illegal trade aggression, which continues to siphon
clean-energy business and jobs from the U.S. economy,” said Gordon Brinser,
president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Oregon. “U.S. costs
to make and deliver solar technology for the U.S. market are lower than those
of Chinese producers. Our better record of solar-equipment reliability, R&D
and quality also is far longer. Moreover, we have the law – and history – on
our side: Free trade is not trade without rules.
“But to fairly compete, we need our federal trade-law enforcement system to
show fortitude in applying that law,” Brinser said. “It is not enough to
adjudicate cases without attention to the underlying industry and market
realities of resulting remedies. We are still asking for these thoroughly
investigated illegal trade practices to be actually stopped.”
SolarWorld led the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, numbering about
240 U.S. solar installation, production and financial employers, in backing
trade cases challenging China’s anticompetitive campaign to subsidize massive
overbuilding of an export-only solar industry and illegally export solar
products at dumped, or artificially low, prices in the U.S. market. In late
2012, the U.S. government imposed duties ranging from about 31 percent to 250
In appeals filed with the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York,
SolarWorld argues that dozens of Chinese solar manufacturers failed to show
they were free of Chinese government ownership and control. Some companies,
for instance, failed even to detail their ownership. In that light, SolarWorld
says, these companies should not have received “separate” antidumping rates,
but instead should have been subject to a China-wide rate of 250 percent.
In addition, the company’s brief argues that Commerce erroneously set aside a
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ruling which determined the proper
classification of aluminum frames used by one of the biggest Chinese producers
in its solar panels. By failing to use the proper classification, SolarWorld
argues, Commerce substantially undervalued the aluminum frames and therefore
understated antidumping margins against all Chinese companies.
Chinese aluminum extrusions also are subject to substantial trade duties as a
result of Chinese dumping and subsidies resulting from another case. In June,
the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury convened in
Puerto Rico had indicted five individuals and three companies on suspicion of
smuggling aluminum extrusions under fraudulent documentation into the U.S.
market to circumvent duties in that case.
Similarly, Commerce began investigating potential trade-duty evasion and
circumvention in the solar case in April. The department asked CBP to
undertake enhanced import reviews and potential enforcement based on evidence
that some manufacturers and importers of Chinese-made solar panels were
misreporting and underreporting their imports to evade new tariffs in the
In particular, Commerce is investigating numerous Chinese producers who claim
to use non-Chinese cells in their solar panels to ensure that their claims are
accurate. Many Chinese producers have said they are legally avoiding the trade
remedies by exploiting a loophole opened by Commerce when it determined that
they could import solar panels duty-free if they fabricated the panels in
their Chinese factories from solar cells manufactured in third countries.
SolarWorld also appealed Commerce’s so-called scope ruling, which created the
loophole, to the Court of International Trade. Briefing on that important
issue will begin after briefing is concluded on the antidumping appeals.
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to
a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs
approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany,
and Hillsboro, Ore. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld
manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development.
Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers
all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company
maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has
committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has
been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at
SolarWorld Industries America
Devon Cichoski, 805-388-6388
Media Relations Manager
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