Lawyers representing China’s government have asked the US Department of Commerce (DoC) for more time to propose a deal in the ongoing solar trade dispute between the two countries.
According to the DoC a suspension agreement would put preliminary anti-dumping duties, and the requirement of cash deposits, on hold until an alternative agreement to nullify any unfair trade is agreed. The current filing does not apply to the anti-subsidy case.
A document seen by PV Tech and sent on behalf of the Beijing government asks for a one-week extension of the deadline to submit a suspension agreement, proposing a 15 August cut off date.
Last week, the original petitioner, SolarWorld Americas, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) engaged in a public row over proposed agreements.
It emerged that at the end of last week an SEIA delegation travelled to China to meet with manufacturers.
SolarWorld has said a settlement outline put on the table by the SEIA last year is insufficient but would not rule out further talks.
One possible solution would be a price undertaking, similar to that between the EU and China. That agreement has an annual quota and a quarterly adjust minimum price on Chinese modules and cells.
The SEIA proposal would involve Chinese manufacturers paying into a settlement fund that would then be distributed among US manufacturers. A similar model was used to settle a longstanding dispute between Canada and the US over timber exports.
The latest trade row includes Taiwanese cell manufacturers. It is unclear what impact a suspension agreement would have on them.
The DoC is not obliged to accept a request for a suspension agreement and it is unclear if it will even allow the deadline extension.