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USITC ruling unfavorable to Taiwan's solar cell exports
Central News Agency
2014-02-15 11:54 AM
Washington, Feb. 14 (CNA) The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) said Friday that it has found reason to think the imports of Chinese solar panels with parts from Taiwan have caused damage to the local solar industry.

In a statement, the ITC ruled "there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products" from Taiwan that were sold in the U.S. market at prices lower than fair value. In the same decision, the U.S. trade agency said it has also found Chinese solar energy product exporters violated anti-dumping as well as anti-subsidy rules, causing material injury to the U.S. solar industry. After the ITC decision, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will continue to pursue its investigations into the dumping allegations against Taiwan and China, and into the subsidy accusation against China. The DOC is scheduled to make preliminary determinations on subsidy on March 26 and on dumping on June 9 to impose countervailing duties and anti-dumping tariffs as a relief for damage. Heavy anti-dumping duties were imposed on Chinese solar panels imported into the U.S. market, starting in October 2012, following an original complaint by SolarWorld Industries America, a subsidiary of Germany-based SolarWorld AG. At the end of 2013, SolarWorld, which represented a total of 224 solar energy product firms in the U.S., filed a new complaint, accusing that Chinese firms were circumventing the anti-dumping duties by exporting solar modules using solar cells made in other countries, mainly Taiwan, which were not covered in the original ruling. The DOC and ITC decided in January to launch the investigation based on a dumping petition filed by SolarWorld against Chinese and Taiwanese solar cell exporters. Two China-based companies, Yingli Solar and Hanwha SolarOne, have since filed a petition with the DOC for a request to represent Taiwanese firms involved in the anti-dumping case since the Chinese firms use Taiwan-made solar cells in their solar module production. The petition sparked an outcry among the Taiwan solar energy product exporters as they have feared that if the DOC allows the two Chinese firms to represent them, the local business is unlikely to speak for and defend itself. The DOC is scheduled to decide Feb. 21 on whether the two Chinese companies will be able to represent their Taiwanese counterparts involved in the anti-dumping case. The Taiwan government has vowed to provide the local solar energy industry with all necessary assistance to make sure that they will be represented properly rather than have its case made by two Chinese solar panel manufacturers. Taiwanese solar cell makers insisted that they have not engaged in dumping practices, saying that the prices of Taiwan-made solar cells are 8 percent above the global average. (By Lin Shu-yuan and Frances Huang)

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