The Commerce Department announced on June 25 that it has found additional subsidies benefiting Chinese producers of solar cells and modules, according to the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM).
The new countervailing duty rates would increase to 3.44 percent on Wuxi Suntech and 5.81 percent on Trina Solar. The rate for all other Chinese solar companies would also increase, since the "all-others" rate is a weighted average of the Trina and Suntech rates.
Commerce investigators said they found that the Chinese government illegally supplied electricity to Chinese solar producers at a discounted rate. This subsidy increased the duty by 0.44 percent on Suntech and 0.47 percent of Trina. Commerce also found numerous illegal grant programs, which added another 0.59 percent for Trina and 0.04 percent for Suntech.
Investigators are still looking into the Chinese solar industry’s questionable trade practices and are preparing findings on subsidy issues left unaddressed in a preliminary phase, probing new subsidy issues and auditing Chinese companies and their U.S. affiliates to verify their claims in the cases. If investigators find that additional duties are warranted regarding any of four new or outstanding issues, or if they determine that the Chinese companies have withheld or misrepresented relevant information in their submissions, they will impose additional duty margins on imports produced by the Chinese industry on top of the margins already announced. Commerce also set anti-dumping duties of between 31 percent and 250 percent in May.
"Import duties imposed under U.S. and world trade laws are not calculated to punish importers for illegal trade practices," said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., the leader of CASM. "Instead, they are meant as a remedy to offset the unfair advantage that those illegal practices provide. Commerce's preliminary determinations of import duty margins are steps in the right direction, but they do not yet reflect all of China's improper and unfair practices.”
Antidumping verifications began in late May, and the verification process will continue through July.
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