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SolarWorld applauds Commerce decision on imports of subsidized Chinese solar

Preliminary duties range up to 35.21 percent to offset improper Chinese government support of export drive; anti-dumping duties to be announced July 25

HILLSBORO, Ore., June 3, 2014 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar producer for nearly 40 years, praised today’s preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose anti-subsidy duties against U.S. imports of Chinese solar technology products and block state-sponsored Chinese solar producers from evading U.S. duties on their solar panels by outsourcing production of photovoltaic cells to third countries, such as Taiwan.

“Today is a strong win for the U.S. solar industry,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Hillsboro. “We look forward to the end of illegal Chinese government intervention in the U.S. solar market, and we applaud Commerce for its work that supports fair trade.”

Effective immediately, Commerce imposed preliminary duties of 35.21 percent on imports of panels made by Suntech Power, 18.56 percent on imports of Trina Solar and 26.89 percent on imports of most other significant Chinese producers. On July 25, Commerce is expected to announce anti-dumping duties in the same cases.

In late 2012, the U.S. crystalline silicon solar manufacturing industry won duties averaging 31 percent to offset illegal government subsidies that enabled Chinese producers to sell at artificially low prices to seize market share from domestic manufacturers operating within the U.S. market. But many Chinese producers evaded the duties by commissioning manufacturers in other countries to partially or fully produce solar photovoltaic cells for assembly into solar panels back in China. State-controlled Chinese media said at least 70 percent of U.S. imports from China contain Taiwanese cells. In that light, SolarWorld filed cases Dec. 31 to close the loophole.

SolarWorld’s trade petitions cover panels assembled in China from Taiwanese or third-country cells made from Chinese inputs.

SolarWorld’s petition alleges that Chinese solar producers benefit from an array of government assistance, including cash grants, discounted loans and loan guarantees, free land and utilities, and heavily discounted polysilicon, solar glass and aluminum extrusions.

With its cases, SolarWorld is acting with support from the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM). Many of CASM’s founding manufacturers now are out of business or struggling to restructure, their disbanded workforces to be counted among thousands of U.S. jobs lost to unfair trade practices. In March, Sharp Solar was forced to shut down its manufacturing facility in Tennessee. CASM represents nearly 250 companies employing nearly 21,000 Americans.

Download the Department of Commerce’s fact sheet on the preliminary determination.

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SolarWorld Americas Inc., the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 42 years, produces and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply throughout the Americas. The company maintains 430 megawatts of annual capacity to produce solar cells and 550 MW of capacity to manufacture solar modules.  The company’s brand stands for a proven track record of quality and reliability, and SolarWorld is the only producer whose industrial lineage has outlived its products’ 25- and 30-year performance guarantees. SolarWorld upholds high social standards and commits itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. With its program Solar2World, the company supports the expansion of solar power in developing countries in Latin America. Connect with SolarWorld on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and www.solarworld.com.

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Ben Santarris
Head of Corporate Communications
SolarWorld Americas Inc.
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ben.santarris(at)solarworldusa.com