US Solar Manufacturers Respond to China's Reaction to Trade Complaint

US solar firms lashed back against China’s response to their trade complaint – China warned the US against taking protectionist measures that could harm the global economy. 

Last week, US solar firms formed the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, to file a 3000 page petition accusing China of illegally subsidizing its solar firms, resulting in a flood of under-priced panels in the US, and making it impossible for US solar firms to compete.  The firms want a stiff tariff imposed on solar imports from China.

The Coalition characterizes the response from China’s Ministry of Commerce as containing misleading and unfounded statements.

"The Chinese government’s claims that our actions are improper and protectionist, and that its illegal subsidies and massive dumping of solar product are helping the global economy and the environment, are absurd. China is one of the biggest trade protectionists in the world. In the solar industry, China is gutting manufacturing and jobs here in America and abroad while China’s solar industry pollutes its own people. The accusations have no basis in fact.

"Regarding trade issues, the use of antidumping and countervailing duty laws is a WTO-legal and quasi-judicial process. The determinations that will be made by the U.S. government will be based on fact and reviewable under U.S. and WTO law. For China to label the actions of a U.S. industry ‘protectionist’ when China is seeking to defend itself against egregiously unfair trade practices is baseless. China is a heavy user of the antidumping and countervailing trade laws to ‘protect’ its own industries. It is no coincidence that China has been named in the most antidumping and countervailing duty cases from countries all around the world: It is the worst violator of global trade laws.

"Regarding economic considerations, it is widely known that China’s economic growth model is causing huge disruptions in the global economy. Its policies of restricting exports of rare earth minerals, forcing companies to hand over their technology as a condition of doing business, ineffectual intellectual property enforcement, and massive industry subsidies are flat-out protectionist. Worst of all, China’s manipulation of its currency severely distorts global markets.

"The aggressive dumping as well as massive illegal subsidies from the Chinese government have cost the U.S. industry thousands of jobs in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania and have forced more than seven companies to close or downsize in the past 18 months.

"Exports of Chinese solar cells and panels to the United States rose more than 350 percent from 2008 to 2010. In July 2011 alone, imports of Chinese crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels and modules exceeded the volume imported in all of 2010. This surge has been the primary cause of a 40 percent decline in world prices over the past year.

"Finally, regarding environmental issues, China’s record is equally troubling. For example, only last month, China temporarily suspended the operations of Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co. after hundreds of protesters, some of whom overturned vehicles and ransacked offices, complained about ‘toxic smokestack emissions,’ large fish kills, and an unusual number of cancer deaths.

"Beyond this one case, China’s solar-industry’s significant abuse of China’s environmental landscape has been well-documented since at least early 2008. If the government of China and its state-sponsored solar industry are concerned about the environment, they should develop a solar market in their own country, stiffen their environmental rules to match western standards and produce solar products using the same high environmental standards followed in the United States."

(Visited 3,972 times, 5 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *