US weighs Chinese solar trade duties

The US International Trade Commission says it has made preliminary determinations that certain solar products imported from China and Taiwan have harmed American manufacturers.

The ITC’s finding means that a US Commerce Department investigation will continue. Commerce is scheduled to make its preliminary determinations for a countervailing duty in March and an anti-dumping duty in June.

Earlier this year, Commerce began an anti-dumping duty investigation of imports of certain crystalline silicon PV products from China and Taiwan in response to a petition from SolarWorld Industries America.

It also initiated a countervailing duty probe on the same products from China.

SolarWorld praised the ITC decision.

"Step by step, US solar producers are returning to a day when they no longer are forced to compete with the government of China," says Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America.

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), which represents four dozen or so mainly solar installers, slammed SolarWorld for have brought the case to the ITC.

"With the ITC’s preliminary ruling in favor of SolarWorld’s petition to impose tariffs on imported solar products, it is now official: a German company is one step closer to manipulating US trade procedure in order to prop up its own failing business and inflict harm on a job-creating industry," it says in a statement.