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Solar power firms oppose US probe

Solar power firms oppose US probe

Write: Lindan [2011-11-30]

Chinese solar power companies have boosted their market share in the United States because of their competitive advantages, not low prices and subsidies, as they strongly opposed an anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation by the US government on imports.

Solar power firms oppose US probe

Workers adjust solar battery cells at a production line in Guangdong province. Chinese solar manufacturers said that they are confident of defending themselves in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations initiated by the United States. [China Daily]

The companies, including Suntech Power and Trina Solar, said the US solar industry has benefited from Chinese products and a probe, which could potentially lead to steep duties, will hurt the development of the clean energy industry, according to a statement issued yesterday through the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

Following a complaint by the US unit of Germany's SolarWorld AG and six other unidentified companies, the US Commerce Department opened an investigation early this month into whether Chinese firms have been aided by unfair subsidies involving low-cost credit received at home and have been dumping solar cells in the US market.

At a briefing in Beijing yesterday, Suntech CEO Shi Zhengrong said Chinese firms have higher borrowing costs than their peers in the US and Europe.

The chamber also said SolarWorld received US$43 million worth of subsidies in 2007 alone for building a new plant in Oregon, something Shi said it "unlikely for a Chinese company to enjoy."

The chamber's statement reiterated that Chinese firms do not intend to start a trade war against the US solar photovoltaic industry, but only against these petitioners.

China's Ministry of Commerce last Friday said it has opened a trade barrier probe into US policy and subsidy support for renewable energy.