SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline silicon solar producer for nearly 40 years, announced another advance in the renewable-energy industry’s return to fair competition, after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made affirmative preliminary determinations that U.S. imports of Chinese and Taiwanese solar panels are injuring the domestic manufacturing industry.
China has no production cost advantage and high-standard companies such as SolarWorld remain the industry’s technology leaders, the company said, but government-sponsored Chinese producers have used illegal, export-intensive subsidies and artificially and temporarily low pricing tactics to undermine them.
“Step by step, U.S. solar producers are returning to a day when they no longer are forced to compete with the government of China,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Oregon. “Our own factories here in Oregon are surrounded by several campuses of Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor producer and a U.S. manufacturing success story. So please do not tell us that U.S. manufacturers who pioneered and built the solar industry cannot compete globally under conditions of fair trade.”
On Dec. 31, SolarWorld brought anti-subsidy and anti-dumping cases against China and an anti-dumping case against Taiwan to close a loophole in previous cases that concluded in December 2012. As the case has been filed, DOC is expected to make a preliminary determination on anti-subsidy duties in late March.
To bring its trade cases, SolarWorld has had to demonstrate that they were supported by a majority of the U.S. manufacturing industry. The company has the support of a coalition, largely composed of installation firms, of nearly 250 employers of more than 22,000 Americans. The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing stands for robust international trade free of illegal foreign government intervention as well as sustainable and domestic manufacturing.