US ITC in new Chinese solar probe

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) confirmed it has launched a new probe into PV imports from China.

The US trade watchdog launched preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations into some crystalline silicon PV imports from China and Taiwan.

The ITC will decide whether there is a “material injury” to the US industry – or the threat of one – with a preliminary decision due by 14 February. The US commerce department will then have to decide whether any remedial action is needed.

The probe follows a complaint lodged by the US unit of Solarworld, the German PV manufacturer which led the campaign that resulted in duties averaging about 31% being slapped on Chinese solar imports in late 2012.

Solarworld claims Chinese companies are exploiting a “loophole” in those trade sanctions by assembling modules from cells produced in third-party countries.

The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has already opposed any new trade litigation, urging a negotiated settlement to disputes between America and China.