Trade commission approves SolarWorld investigation

A U.S. trade panel approved an investigation into charges of illegal Chinese solar module pricing on Dec. 2. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that there was a reasonable indication that SolarWorld Industries America and other U.S. solar manufacturers have been harmed by the price dumping of the Chinese imports, or could have been.

The vote allows the Department of Commerce to continue an investigation into whether the Chinese government provides illegal subsidies for its solar energy sector and whether Chinese companies are selling solar cells and panels in the United States at unfairly low prices.

SolarWorld and its six partners, who have chosen to remain anonymous, have alleged Chinese producers are undercutting U.S. prices by as much as 250 percent.

The Department of Commerce will have 180 days from Oct. 19, the date the original petition was filed, to make its determination. During that six month period, panels can be sold to the U.S. However, any indication that products were being pushed through to avoid pending tariffs would reportedly make some of the transactions subject to penalty.

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