SolarWorld is gratified that the U.S. government has determined the company and its Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing represent a clear majority of the domestic manufacturing industry and found adequate cause for concern over Chinese solar export practices to initiate an intensive, year-long investigation.
“We are pleased that the facts have begun to speak for themselves,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Hillsboro, Ore.
China’s plans for the U.S. market have been clear from its excessive and illegal subsidization of its export-heavy industry, its ever-escalating drive to dump product at artificially low prices on the U.S. marketplace and its contrived public-affairs tactics, including a new coalition for Chinese importers that purports to serve the interests of American consumers.
In reality, a survey published by the Solar Energy Industries Association is clear that the U.S. public cares deeply about the vitality of domestic manufacturing as it stands in China’s crosshairs. The survey shows overwhelming bipartisan support – 82 percent – for U.S. solar manufacturing. Chinese companies have almost no production on U.S. soil.
CASM alleges that China’s state-sponsored industry has mounted an onslaught of dumping that has included a surge of imports in recent months. Chinese exports into the United States in July alone exceeded those of all of 2010, according to federal trade data. To counter this alleged surge ahead of the U.S. investigation, the SolarWorld-led coalition is seeking a federal determination of “critical circumstances,” requiring that any import duties required to offset alleged improper trade tactics be applied retroactively for three months.
Assuming the International Trade Commission finds on Dec. 5 that Chinese exports have harmed the domestic industry, the first possible determination on “critical circumstances” could come as soon as Jan. 12, meaning importers of record could later be required to deposit estimated duties on imports back to this past Oct. 14, according to CASM.
“The anti-competitive tactics of Chinese exporters have threatened to wipe out U.S. producers and jobs,” Brinser said. “Domestic producers look forward to returning to steady increases in efficiency and sustainable decreases in pricing that directly result from legal international competition – and to advances in America’s renewable-energy future.”
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