RPT-China calls for fair handling of escalating solar dispute with U.S.

Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:16am EST

(Repeats to additional subscribers. No change to text.)

BEIJING Feb 17 (Reuters) - China urged the United States on Monday to "objectively and fairly" handle an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries after Washington signalled last week it could extend import duties on Chinese solar panels to a wider range of products.

The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that Chinese solar panels made with cells manufactured in Taiwan may harm the American solar industry, bringing it closer to adding to the duties it slapped on products from China in 2012.

The U.S. arm of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG had complained that Chinese manufacturers are sidestepping the duties by shifting production of the cells used to make their panels to Taiwan and continuing to flood the U.S. market with cheap products.

The U.S. investigations are aimed at "broadly restricting Chinese exports of silicon photovoltaic products", said the official Xinhua news agency, citing an unnamed official from the commerce ministry.

"China remains open for trade negotiations and hopes for sincere dialogue to properly resolve the issue to achieve a win-win result," the official added.

The value of Chinese solar product imports in the United States fell by almost a third from 2012 to 2013, while imports from Taiwan rose more than 40 percent, although from a much smaller base, according to ITC data.

China has retaliated by introducing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of U.S. polysilicon, the key raw material in solar cells.

The ITC is due to make a preliminary decision on whether Chinese solar products are unfairly subsidised on March 28 and a preliminary decision on dumping on June 11. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Mark Potter)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.