SolarWorld cries foul on China
American solar-energy manufacturers led by SolarWorld AG said they were forced to close plants and lay off workers because of unfair Chinese government policies, as they tried to convince regulators that the United States should continue to impose penalties on imports from the Asian nation.
Chinese exports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules have flooded the global market, leading to a price collapse, Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld's U.S. unit, said on Wednesday at an International Trade Commission hearing in Washington.
“China's massive government-funded solar capacity has caused this material injury,” Brinser said. “The import surge has been devastating to the U.S. industry.”
Representatives of Chinese manufacturers including Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. were scheduled to argue their case before the ITC later in the day.
The dispute has become a flashpoint in increasingly tense trade relations between China and the United States, the world's largest economies, as the November presidential election looms. President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have sparred over U.S. enforcement of China's adherence to global trade rules. Members of Congress, looking to protect jobs in their districts, have taken up the issue.
The Commerce Department on May 17 announced preliminary duties ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent on imports of Chinese-made solar cells, after determining that the products were sold in the United States below cost. The agency in March set separate tariffs as high as 4.73 percent on the goods to counter subsidies from China. The department's final ruling on anti-dumping and countervailing duties is scheduled for Oct. 10.
In order for the tariffs to be imposed, the ITC must determine that U.S. manufacturers have been harmed by imports from China. A final decision is scheduled for next month.
SolarWorld's assertion that it has been harmed by Chinese government policies is “simplistic and highly misleading,” said Richard Weiner, an attorney with Sidley Austin LLP representing Chinese manufacturers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Amid struggles, top fiscal executive to leave EDMC
- Natrona Bottling Co. keeps soda pop operation focused on craft, taste
- Chevron puts $20M into educating, training Appalachian workers
- High pollution levels found near Ohio gas wells
- PPG Industries to buy Westmoreland Supply paint store chain
- Plastics, tech sectors crucial to cracker plants
- EDMC loses $664M; executives receive six-figure bonuses
- Allegheny Technologies reports $700,000 loss in 3Q
- Open enrollment puts varied impact of health care law back in focus
- IBM to pay $1.5B to shed chip division
- Fannie Mae might take 3% down