China says U.S. solar ruling smacks of protectionism

SHANGHAI Sat Dec 3, 2011 10:18pm EST

A worker walks behind solar panels on the factory roof of Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, also known as Yingli Solar, located in the city of Baoding, Hebei Province June 20, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

A worker walks behind solar panels on the factory roof of Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, also known as Yingli Solar, located in the city of Baoding, Hebei Province June 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China said it was "deeply concerned" about a preliminary ruling by a U.S. trade body that trade practices by Chinese solar makers are hurting U.S. producers and said the decision underscored a U.S. "inclination to trade protectionism."

Such protectionism measures would hurt bilateral trade and jeopardize mutual cooperation on new energy issues, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website.

The statement came after the U.S. International Trade Commission approved an investigation into charges of unfair Chinese trade practices in the solar energy sector, setting the stage for possible steep U.S. duties and ratcheting up tensions with Beijing on the green trade front.

The U.S. commission voted 6-0 that there was a reasonable indication that SolarWorld Industries America and other U.S. producers had been harmed by the imports or could have been.

"The ruling was made without sufficient evidence showing U.S. solar panel industry has been harmed and ignored defenses from Chinese firms as well as opposition from the U.S. domestic industries and other stakeholders," the ministry said.

"China is deeply concerned with the decision, which does not tally with facts and highlights the United States' strong tendency for trade protectionism."

China also hit back by saying that the U.S. should "objectively analyze why some of its solar panel firms lack competitiveness."

The vote allows the Commerce Department to continue an investigation that could lead to both countervailing and anti-dumping duties on solar cells and panels from China.

The dispute is one of several to have broken out on the environmental front, as governments seek to reduce dependence on carbon-emitting fossil fuels blamed for global climate change.

Chinese solar manufacturers most affected by the petition include Suntech Power Holdings, Yingli Green Energy Holding and Trina Solar.

U.S. imports of the solar products from China totaled $1.5 billion in 2010, up from $640 million in 2009.

(Reporting by Fayen Wong and Samuel Shen; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Comments (8)
1WorldDone wrote:
Of course!, China thinks this is trade protectionism!

China’s ENTIRE ECONOMY is based upon currency manipulated trade protectionism!

How else can they justify $300 billion dollar deficits with the USA?

It’s high time to impose trade correcting tariffs of GROSSLY undervalued and heavily subsidized Chinese imports…

Dec 04, 2011 12:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeSugal wrote:
I think China is the big economic player today.


Dec 04, 2011 1:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
Dijeau wrote:
Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, Solar world, Sunpower inc. of the United States of America were killed by Chinese solar panel dumping from panels made in Chine and sold at a loss to keep 12,000 Chinese workers employed after the Europ Financial crissis killed sales there. China gave $800 million to it’s largest Solar manufaturer to cover the costs and told them to cut the price of existing stocks 40% to move the product and keep the factories open. China protectes it’s workers and companies but America lets Wall Street call the shots. With the Republicans in Congress, China knows we will never go against Wall Street and they will win. 1.4 Billion Chinese against .3 billion Americans.
PS Sunpower was bought out by the French company “Total”, the rest filed for bankruptcy protection. Do we need protectionism….YES ! 6-0 vote. But will Congress listen?

Dec 04, 2011 4:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
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