China voices 'deep concerns' over US panel ruling

Updated: 2011-12-04 01:02


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BEIJING - China's Ministry of Commerce on Saturday expressed its "deep concerns" over a preliminary ruling made by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that Chinese enterprises are harming the US solar panel industry.

The ruling was made without sufficient evidence showing US solar panel industry has been harmed and regardless of defense opinions from Chinese firms as well as opposition from the US domestic industries and other stakeholders, the ministry said in a statement.

"China is deeply concerned with the decision, which does not tally with facts and highlights the United States' strong tendency for trade protectionism," the statement said.

It said China hopes that the US side will objectively analyze the reason why some of US solar panel firms lack competitiveness.

"The United States should avoid abusing trade remedies which will affect bilateral trade and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and US enterprises in the new energy sector," the statement said.

The ITC voted 6-0 on Friday that there was a reasonable indication that SolarWorld Industries America and other US producers have been harmed or are threatened with injury by solar panel imports from China.

The vote allows the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to continue an investigation that could lead to both countervailing and anti-dumping duties on solar panels from China.

The DOC will make preliminary decisions regarding anti-subsidy and anti-dumping measures in January and February 2012, respectively.

Li Lei, senior lawyer of Sidley Austin LLP and the represent lawyer of China-based solar industries, said Tuesday that ITC is highly unlikely to come to "no harm" conclusions and terminate the investigation in its preliminary ruling.

He said Chinese companies should actively participate the defense against the charges.

Upon an appeal filed by SolarWorld Industries America and six other undisclosed firms, the DOC said on Nov 8 that it would conduct an investigation to determine whether Chinese firms have been selling solar panels in the United States at unfair discounts and receiving illegal government subsidies.