Yingli rebuffs new US trade suit

Chinese PV manufacturer Yingli Solar has shrugged off another US lawsuit alleging that it violated antitrust regulations and engaged in unfair trade practices.

“These are baseless claims,” said Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli Green Energy Americas in a statement.

The $950m suit was filed by a bankruptcy trustee for Michigan-based PV manufacturer Energy Conversion Devices in a US district court last week.

The trust claims the US company’s business suffered because Yingli, along with Chinese rivals Trina Solar and Suntech Power Holdings, fixed prices and dumped low-cost PV modules in the US market.

Last October, failed US solar startup Solyndra filed a $1.5bn suit against Yingli, Trina and Suntech, alleging that they conspired with the Chinese government to overwhelm the US market with cheap PV panels.

Petrina said: “In both instances, the companies are bankrupt and appear to be blaming others for their own failed thin-film technology and flawed business models.”

The US government last year imposed anti-dumping and subsidy tariffs on Chinese PV equipment imports.

Last month,  the US-based Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) floated a compromise to end trade tensions with China in the PV sector.

SEIA’s proposal would see US tariffs on Chinese imports phased out in return for concessions from China, including an end to Beijing’s trade measures against imports of US polysilicon into China.