Manufacturers react to Sino-US trade case ruling21. March 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Top News | By: Jonathan Gifford
Reactions have been unsurprisingly mixed to the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) preliminary findings on the Sino-U.S. photovoltaic trade case. While the de-facto sponsor of the conflict SolarWorld believes it to be the first step in an ongoing movment, Yingli and Suntech contend that the case is harmful to the whole industry.
SolarWorld was robust in its support of the government’s decision, saying that if fair trade can be re-established, the U.S. industry will compete against the Chinese competition. "We commend the Department of Commerce for its preliminary decision today, which is the first step in a process that will roll out over the next several months," said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc.
The company, which is also a member of the seven-manufacturer Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), added that domestic manufacturing and installation business were required in the pursuit of, "greater national, energy, economic and environmental security”.
On the Chinese side of the equation, Trina Solar, which was hit with the highest duties of 4.73 percent, pointed to the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) jurisdiction over the case. Mark Kingsley, Chief Commercial Officer of Trina Solar said: "As applicable to the rest of the solar industry, this preliminary determination is only the first step, and is subject to further examination and final determination later this year by the DOC. Moreover, the determination of whether injury has been found or not is dependent upon the ITC’s subsequent ruling." The ITC is expected to complete its investigation before the end of the year.
Yingli Green Energy will be hit with 3.6 percent duties, the default rate for all Chinese manufacturers otherwise specified. It vowed to stay active in the U.S. market, in its statement released today. "We will continue to fight for affordable solar energy and further growth of the tens of thousands of U.S. solar jobs that we help to create," said Robert Petrina, Managing Director of Yingli Green Energy Americas, Inc. "Regardless of the outcome of this proceeding, we remain dedicated to the U.S. solar market."
Suntech’s products will only bear duties of 2.9 percent and the company's Andrew Beebe said this indicates that Suntech operates without significant Chinese government subsidies. "This initial decision reflects the reality that Suntech's global success is based on free and fair competition.”
Beebe continued: "As a global company with global supply chains and manufacturing facilities in three countries, we are well prepared for the future. Regardless whether tariffs are imposed on solar cells from China, we can provide our customers in the U.S. with hundreds of megawatts of high-quality and affordable solar products that are not subject to tariffs.” Suntech has a production facility in Arizona.
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