China concludes US solar subsidies violate WTO rules

Following the launch of the U.S.-China trade case by SolarWorld in the U.S. last October, MOFCOM launched its own trade barrier investigation in November into 6 of the U.S.’ support polices and subsidy programs. It has since concluded that this support constitutes "prohibited subsidies" as stated under provisions in the Article 3 of WTO Subsidy and Countervailing Measures Agreement and the Article 3 of 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

"As a consequence," stated MOFCOM on its website, they "distort the normal trade and constitutes the trade barrier to the Chinese renewable energy products exports to the U.S." The ministry added that it will now take "relevant measures in accordance with the law to require the U.S. to cancel the content of the measures under investigation inconsistent with WTO agreements, and give fair treatment to renewable energy products exported from China."

The programs in question include:

  • The encouragement of renewable energy projects in Washington;
  • The State Solar Rebate Project II in Massachusetts;
  • The encouragement of wind production and manufacturing in Ohio;
  • The encouragement of renewable energy projects and manufacturing in New Jersey; and
  • Self-generating projects in California.