Quantcast

Solar Company's Petition to Close Industry Loophole Continues Debate Between U.S. and China

Business

A California solar energy system manufacturer has petitioned the nation's commerce and commission departments to impose rules that could eventually block Chinese solar manufacturers from the U.S. market.

SolarWorld Industries America submitted "anti-dumping and anti-subsidy" cases with the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Commerce Department this week in an attempt to close a loophole the company believes Chinese and Taiwanese firms have used to receive unfair subsidies from their governments and to dump products on the U.S. below costs.

The U.S. ruled against the Asian firms' practices a year ago, but 24 to 36 percent of the duties applied only to panels made from Chinese solar cells, which are the final major parts assembled into finished modules, according to The New York Times. The companies avoided the ruling by assembling panels from cells produced in Taiwan and other countries, even if those cells came from components—ingots and wafers—from China. A victory for SolarWorld would subject modules made from Taiwanese cells and cells from Chinese ingots or wafers to the duties.

“We’re finishing the job of presenting the facts to our trade regulators to prevent China from further damaging yet another manufacturing industry and another rich base of employment,” SolarWorld President Mukesh Dulani said. “China obviously recognizes the key importance of solar technology manufacturing to future economic competitiveness. But we do, too.” 

The solar panel quality inspection procedure at manufacturer Tianwei. Photo credit: Dricus/Flickr

SolarWorld says it is acting on behalf of the industry with support from the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing's 241 member organizations and the 18,350 Americans they employ.

According to The new York Times, China continues to explore how to impose duties on American polysilicon, which is the base compound for conventional solar panels. However, China reached a settlement with the European Union over similar trade complaints in the summer.

Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli Green Energy Americas, a division of one of China's top manufacturer, said the company would “fight this just as vigorously as we did the first case.”

Rhone Resch, chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, admonished the petition, arguing that it only encouraged a back-and-forth dispute in an energy that still needs help to expand. SEIA’s proposal provides a mutually-satisfactory resolution which recognizes the interests of all solar stakeholders and not just one segment of the industry.

“It’s time to end this conflict and negotiations must play a role," Resch said. "For well over a year now, SEIA has encouraged the U.S. and Chinese governments and key industry stakeholders to find common ground, even putting forth a settlement proposal.

"We urge the United States and China to immediately commit to serious, results-driven negotiations.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk discusses vehicle dimensions in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on Nov. 21. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Tesla just unveiled its first electric truck.

CEO Elon Musk showed off the new design at a launch event at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California Thursday.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This study found evidence of illegal hammerhead fins in 46 out of 46 sampling events in Hong Kong. NOAA / Teachers at Sea Program

By Jason Bittel

Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.

Read More Show Less
Heat waves emanate from the exhaust pipe of a city transit bus as it passes an American flag hung on the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice on April 25, 2013. David McNew / Getty Images

Air pollution rules aren't doing enough to protect Americans, finds a major new study that examined the cause of death for 4.5 million veterans, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Coldplay playing at Stade de France in Paris in July 2017. Raph_PH / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0

Coldplay is releasing a new album on Friday, but the release will not be followed by a world tour.

Read More Show Less