Chinese government calls latest US solar duties an ‘abuse’ of the system



China’s Ministry of Commerce has called the latest US solar trade duties an “abuse” of the system and urged Washington to overturn the decision.

On Friday evening the US Department of Commerce issued preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 165% on Chinese modules with some components manufactured outside the country. Taiwanese cell manufacturers were given tariffs of 27.59% to 44.18%.

This followed a complaint by SolarWorld Americas alleging that tariffs on Chinese modules applied in 2012 were being circumvented through the use of cells and other components manufactured outside China.

“The US has frequently restrained similar Chinese PV products by ignoring the facts and legal basis, and adopting conflicting rules on the origin of products. This is an abuse of the economic relief measures. Frequent adopting of the relief measures would not solve problems US PV industry encountered during its development,” the Chinese official in charge of trade protection measures was quoted as saying.

Previously the cell’s country of origin determined that of the entire module as that is where the most value is added.

“We hope US would exercise due diligence and terminate these procedures as soon as possible, to create a healthy and competitive environment for global PV industry,” the official said.

“The economic relief measures employed by US in 2012 targeting China have already interrupted normal trade of PV industry,” the official added, in reference to an earlier round of tariffs applied by the US on Chinese solar imports.

“Though the trade conflicts might be inevitable, the governments have the responsibility of managing and controlling, to avoid any impacts on normal course of development of China-US trade relationship. The laissez-faire of the escalating problems in China-US PV industry would end up wounding the upstream and downstream of the industry in both countries,” he said.

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