U.S. Solar Manufacturers Request Duties on Chinese Imports

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U.S. Solar Manufacturers Request Duties on Chinese Imports

Bloomberg – U.S. solar-equipment makers asked the government to slap duties on more than $1 billion of Chinese imports, joining the wind-power industry in seeking compensation for alleged unfair state aid undercutting American competitors.

China uses cash grants, preferential loans, discounts on raw materials, tax incentives and currency manipulation among tactics to boost exports of solar cells, the main device used in solar panels, the U.S. unit of Bonn-based SolarWorld AG said yesterday in the complaint supported by six other U.S. solar companies. Suntech Power Holdings Co., LDK Solar Co. and Trina Solar Ltd., the three-biggest China-based makers of crystalline silicon panels, sell in the U.S., according to Bloomberg data.

“The illegal subsidies that China has put into the solar industry are no different than giving an athlete a bucket full of steroids,” Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc. told a Washington news conference. China “is illegally seizing control of the U.S. solar market, manufacturing and our jobs.”

The allegations compound those by the U.S. wind-energy industry that China forces manufacturers to make products in the Asian country. Those charges prompted the U.S. to file a case with the World Trade Organization in December. The solar complaint may contribute to escalating trade tensions after the U.S. Senate last week passed a bill aimed at opening the way to impose duties to punish China for not revaluing its currency.

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