SolarWorld announces International Trade Commission ruling: Chinese imports are harming U.S. solar manufacturing industry
Federal investigations into Chinese import practices will now focus on trade remedies
HILLSBORO, Ore., Dec. 2, 2011 – SolarWorld Industries America Inc. commended a key, unanimous U.S. trade determination issued today that Chinese imports of solar cells and panels into the United States have harmed American domestic solar manufacturers. The company said the resounding ruling confirms the position of a manufacturing coalition it leads that China’s systematic and state-sponsored unfair trade practices are anticompetitive.
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruling advances its investigation, along with a parallel U.S. Department of Commerce investigation, into whether the government should apply remedies to prevent further harm. The investigations began in response to petitions by SolarWorld Industries America Inc., the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, and the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), which represents more than 150 employers of more 11,000 workers. So far, CASM contends, China’s export drive has cost Americans about 2,000 direct jobs throughout the United States and many more at the subcontractor level.
“SolarWorld and countless other participants in the U.S. solar industry stand for sustainable production in the major markets where solar is sold, for healthy, international and sustainable competition, and for sustainable environmental practices in producing and deploying renewable energy,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc. and leader of CASM. “Conversely, nothing about China’s export campaign has proven to be sustainable, including its subsidized and dumped pricing.
“Today’s unanimous vote is another step toward restoring the healthy global competition in the solar industry that has reliably driven down production costs and prices by 10 percent or so a year for many years,” Brinser said. “We only ask for fair and legal competition, which is good for industry and consumers alike.”
In a letter to President Obama issued today, about 60 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives concurred, raising concerns that China’s anticompetitive trade practices undermine innovation, jobs and efficiency. Obama has expressed similar concerns in response to questions about the case last month.
As soon as Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Commerce could determine preliminary trade remedies as well as “critical circumstances,” meaning that China had mounted a surge of U.S. imports to circumvent the imposition of tariffs. If Commerce does both, importers would have to put up bonds or cash deposits on estimated duties on imports back to Oct. 14, 2011. On Nov. 9, the Commerce Department initiated its investigations and found that the domestic industry supported the petitions.
About SolarWorld AG
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, Ore. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com
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