China rejects US ruling in solar dumping case

May 18, 2012 By JOE McDONALD , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- China's government on Friday rejected a U.S. antidumping ruling against its makers of solar power equipment and Chinese manufacturers warned proposed punitive tariffs might hurt efforts to promote clean energy.

The conflict has worsened U.S.-Chinese trade tensions. The two governments have pledged to cooperate in developing renewable energy but accuse each other of violating free-trade pledges by subsidizing their own manufacturers.

"The U.S. ruling is unfair, and the Chinese side expresses its extreme dissatisfaction," said a Commerce Ministry spokesman, Shen Danyang, in a statement.

Shen warned the ruling might harm U.S.-Chinese cooperation in clean energy but gave no indication how Beijing might respond. Some American manufacturers that oppose the trade probe have warned China might retaliate against U.S. suppliers.

Thursday's preliminary ruling by the Commerce Department said Chinese producers sold solar cells and panels below fair price and hurt American producers. If that is upheld, tariffs averaging 31 percent could be imposed on Chinese solar-panel imports.

Three major - Yingli Green Energy Holdings Ltd., Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. - rejected accusations they were selling goods at improperly low prices.

Such duties "are not justified by fact," Suntech's chief commercial officer, Andrew Beebe, said in a statement.

China's producers of and equipment grew to be among the world's biggest over the past decade as they supplied demand from Germany, Spain and other markets that promoted solar power.

Foreign competitors complain Chinese manufacturers get improper government support in the form of low-cost access to land, and other resources. Beijing acknowledges giving research grants and tax breaks but says those are in line with its free-trade commitments and practices by other governments.

"Tariffs are disruptive and destructive for the entire solar industry," Yingli's chairman, Miao Liangsheng, said in a statement.

The Commerce Department launched its investigation in November following complaints by a group of U.S. producers led by Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America Inc., a unit of Germany's SolarWorld AG.

The complaints were amplified by attention surrounding the bankruptcy of solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC after the California-based company received a $528 million U.S. government loan. Solyndra cited Chinese competition as one of the reasons behind its failure.

"These duties are unwarranted and serve as an impediment to the broader adoption of solar energy in a time of rising fuel costs," said Trina's chief commercial officer, Mark Kingsley, in a statement.

The Chinese government responded by launching its own probe last November into whether U.S. government support for producers of wind, solar and other renewable energy technology is an improper trade barrier.

Chinese solar equipment manufacturers warned earlier that sanctions could result in a loss of American jobs because U.S. companies are both buyers of Chinese products and suppliers of materials. They said Chinese manufacturers spend some $2 billion a year to buy materials such as polysilicon from U.S. suppliers.

Explore further: Team improves solar-cell efficiency

More information: Suntech Power Holdings Ltd.: http://www.suntech-power.com
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co.: http://www.yinglisolar.com
Trina Solar Ltd.: http://www.trinasolar.com

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rubberman
not rated yet May 23, 2012
Dear US Government, our average middle class worker earns the equivalent of $300-600 per month and can live live quite comfortably on it, your average middle class income is $2000-3000 per month....do the math on why we can sell cheaper....idiots.

sincerly, China
holoman
not rated yet May 23, 2012
China destroys US companies by undercutting the real cost
to produce so they can acquire market shares.

Once the US competing company is destroyed. The Chinese raise prices to market conditions after capturing market shares.

Illegal in ever part of the world except China.
rubberman
not rated yet May 23, 2012
Actually Holoman, China and the rest of the east have been the home of the main manufacturing plants of more US companies than I have time to list, all of them raking in huge profits at the expense of the consumer who buys the products at "market value" and the worker who makes them on what is considered middle class income in those countries....Nike pays $3 to have the shoes made and Tiger Woods $80,000,000 to wear them . China is the worlds Walmart...good luck competing.