In a widely anticipated ruling, the International Trade Commission voted unanimously on Friday to continue investigating government subsidies in the Chinese solar industry in response to an anti-dumping petition filed by seven American solar companies in October. From Reuters:
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that there was a reasonable indication that SolarWorld Industries America and other U.S. producers have been harmed by the imports or could have been.
The vote allows the Commerce Department to continue an investigation into whether the Chinese government provides illegal subsidies for its solar energy sector and whether Chinese companies are selling solar cells and panels in the United States at unfairly low prices.
A preliminary decision on countervailing, or anti-subsidy, duties could come as early as January, although Commerce can delay a decision until March when it is set to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties in the case.
A final decision on duties is a year away. But preliminary duties — in form of bonds or cash deposits that importers are required to post — usually discourage trade.
Executive Ben Santarris of SolarWorld – the American solar panel maker which filed the trade complaint – told Renewable Energy World that those who oppose the complaint are looking too short-term and don’t understand what’s really at stake. In the same piece, however, Carbon War Room’s Jigar Shah echoes recent comments made in Forbes by solar executive Mike Hall and worries that the trade dispute could cost U.S. solar companies their relevance:
“If this happens today, it will create more uncertainty and make our ascendancy as a technology at risk,” said Shah, who also co-founded a coalition of solar-based companies opposed to the trade complaint. “There are actual companies that have bet their entire life savings into the development of solar projects that will
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