After International Trade Commission (ITC) filing the new anti-dumping investigating, Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) announced that the government will do its best to protect Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers involved in related investigation in the United States, reported CNA.
To help local solar energy sector take on the anti-dumping probe and make sure it is properly represented, the BOFT guaranteed that they will provide everything needed to avoid having the case made by two Chinese solar panel manufacturers.
The U.S. Commerce Department and ITC decided in January to launch the investigation based on a dumping petition filed by SolarWorld Industries America against Chinese and Taiwanese solar cell exporters. Although heavy anti-dumping duties were imposed on Chinese solar panels imported into the U.S. market since October 2012, SolarWorld charged in a new complaint filed on Dec. 31, 2013, claimed that Chinese firms were circumventing the anti-dumping duties by exporting solar modules using solar cells made in other countries, mainly Taiwan, which were not covered in the original ruling. Henceforth, the company asked to extend the anti-dumping duties to PV modules and cells made in both China and Taiwan.
Two Chinese solar energy product makers, Yingli Solar and Hanwha SolarOne, responded by filing a petition with the U.S. DOC to represent the Taiwanese firms involved in the case because they use solar cells from Taiwan in their products. However, the move sparked an outcry in Taiwan's solar energy sector amid fears that if the U.S. were to allow the two Chinese companies to speak for Taiwanese manufacturers, local companies would have no chance to speak up in their own defense.
ITC plans to issue a preliminary ruling by Feb. 14 on whether there is a reasonable indication that imports from China or Taiwan are hurting the U.S. solar industry. If the commission files the case, the U.S. DOC will make preliminary determinations on subsidies in March and on dumping in June.
Chang Chun-fu, head of the BOFT, said his bureau will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. to formally express the government's opposition to the petition filed by the two Chinese solar energy firms.
“Based on the opinions of lawyers in Washington, Taiwanese exporters are subjects of the investigation rather than the two Chinese companies, meaning that the two Chinese firms are not qualified to represent the Taiwanese firms involved in the case,” said Chang.
Whether the two Chinese firms to represent the Taiwanese suppliers or not, the U.S. DOC is expected to make a decision on Feb. 21st. Accordingly, Taiwan's representatives in Washington said they have been closely monitoring the situation, and Chang has promised to brief local solar cell exporters on progress in the case on a daily basis. Taiwanese solar cell makers insisted that they have not engaged in dumping practices, noting that the prices of Taiwan-made solar cells are 8% above the global average.
In addition, the prices of Taiwan's products exceed those from China by 11%, the companies said.
But Taiwan's solar cell exports to China did shoot up after the anti-dumping duties were imposed on Chinese suppliers in late 2012. According to Bureau of Foreign Trade’s data, Taiwan exported 66% more solar cells to China n the first 11 months of 2013 from the year-earlier level to US$1.02 billion.