Just a handful of days after the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission agreed to open an investigation into SolarWorld’s claims that China is dumping solar panels in the US far below US costs, the China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance (CPIA) is launching its own counteroffensive with the claim that the US is dumping polysilicon at below cost prices in China.
Gao Hongling, deputy secretary general of the CPIA, told China Daily that the CPIA is putting the finishing touches on its complaint against US manufacturers, which it plans to file with China’s Ministry of Commerce. The petition will ask the ministry to open a dumping and subsidy investigation into the sales of US polysilicon in China.
Gao noted that in addition to the anti-dumping complaint, CPIA will be preparing a petition for the ministry that will urge it to look into subsidies allegedly received by US manufacturers. According to Gao’s comment to China Daily, Hemlock Semiconductor Group received around US$169 million in subsidies in 2010 while Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) got US$155 million in subsidies for polysilicon production.
“Foreign companies lowered polysilicon prices greatly in recent years and this has forced many Chinese polysilicon producers to go bankrupt,” Gao stated. According to Gao, and figures from the CPIA, several Chinese polysilicon factories had to stop or reduce production in Q3 with over 2,000 people in the industry losing their jobs in just one province. Furthermore, CPIA claims that the US led foreign countries in dumping 46,500 tons of polysilicon in China in 2010.
Greentech Media notes that both the anti-dumping claim and the subsidy allegations mirror the complaint that SolarWorld filed with the US government. As both the US and China have either already, or will soon be, surpassing the 1GW mark of installed solar by the end of this year, the dual investigations will certainly lead to further questions by both industry players and government officials.