SolarWorld announced that it is taking further steps to counter ongoing, anticompetitive trade practices that the U.S. government conclusively determined one year ago were unfairly harming the U.S. domestic solar industry. The company said it was acting on behalf of the domestic industry as a whole, with support from a broad coalition of installers and other industry businesses, and in the interest of the promising future of an industry and technology pioneered in America.
On December 31st, SolarWorld submitted anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce against China and Taiwan to close a loophole in trade remedies issued in December 2012. The loophole enables Chinese producers to evade duties averaging about 31 percent by assembling modules from cells manufactured in third countries. As a result, the company said, China has continued to improperly subsidize its export-intensive campaign and sell below production costs in the U.S. market to seize market share. Research, including a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, concludes China has no solar production cost advantage.
“We’re finishing the job of presenting the facts to our trade regulators to prevent China from further damaging yet another manufacturing industry and another rich base of employment,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Oregon. “China obviously recognizes the key importance of solar-technology manufacturing to future economic competitiveness. But we do, too. Therefore, we are once again simply asking our trade regulators to investigate the facts and apply the well-established laws that enable fair trade, robust competition and lower long-term pricing. If fair competition can be restored, the U.S. industry will return to growth.”
SolarWorld is acting not only on behalf of the domestic industry but also with support from the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, a broad cross-section of solar employers united in their support for free and fair trade according to international laws and rules, sustainable manufacturing according to the West’s high environmental and quality standards, and domestic manufacturing industry and employment for Americans. All told, CASM’s 241 member organizations employ about 18,350 Americans. Since SolarWorld filed the first cases, China’s anti-competitive campaign has forced a number of additional CASM members out of business.