Warns US of retaliatory measures
China has reacted sharply to the inquiry launched by the US Department of Commerce into the alleged unfair trade practices adopted by China in the United States for selling solar cells and panels. The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) had filed a petition with department, saying China is selling heavily subsidised solar panels and cells below market price in the US, which is severely affecting domestic business. The department launched the inquiry on November 9.
In an official statement released on November 10, Shen Danyang, official spokesperson of China’s ministry of commerce said that Chinese people and enterprises are greatly dissatisfied with the US attempts to blame Chinese exports for the country's sluggish development. Danyang warned that the probe could damage energy cooperation between the two countries and impede the progress of global efforts to deal with climate change. “China reserves the right to adopt corresponding measures within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”, said Danyang.
In their petition filed on October 19, CASM had requested the federal government to halt the import of heavily subsidised Chinese solar panels and cells in the country. “Artificially low priced solar products from China are crippling the domestic industry,” said Gordon Brisner, president of Solar World, the largest producer of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels in the US. Solar World is leading the CASM move.
According to CASM data, imports of Chinese crystalline solar cells and panels in the US rose more than 300 per cent from 2008 to 2010. Till August 2011, Chinese imports into the United States totalled $1.6 billion.
“The anti-competitive tactics of Chinese exporters have threatened to wipe out US producers and jobs,” said Brinser. This has led to around seven US companies shutting down or downsizing; thousands have lost jobs in Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Maryland, the CASM website said.
“Domestic producers look forward to returning to steady increase in efficiency and sustainable decreases in pricing that directly result from legal international competition—and to advances in America’s renewable-energy future,” said Brinser.
According to the estimates of the US Department of Energy, Chinese government provided $30 billion in subsidies to Chinese manufacturers in 2010.
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