Predictably, it was SolarWorld that broke cover first on Friday to herald the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) announcement it had found evidence fresh categories of Chnese-made solar products are harming American manufacturers.
It was the U.S. subsidiary of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld that had been agitating for the ITC and U.S. Department of Commerce to close a loophole that spared Chinese products made with cells manufactured in third-party countries chiefly Taiwan from the anti dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) applied to wholly Chinese products sold in the U.S.
If there was no doubting the claim it was SolarWorld that drew together evidence of industry concern to prompt the ITC to open its investigations, on December 31, SolarWorld U.S.' claim in a press release issued barely 20 minutes after the ITC announced its verdict that Chinese manufacturers have ‘no production cost advantage' over American rivals, may raise some eyebrows.
Welcoming the ITC verdict, which will lead to a preliminary decision on what level of AD duties will be applied on March 26 and for CVD on June 9, SolarWorld's press release added: "Government-sponsored Chinese producers have used illegal, export-intensive subsidies and artificial and temporary low pricing tactics," to undermine U.S. manufacturers.
To prompt the ITC investigation, SolarWorld America co-ordinated The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturers, a group of almost 250 installers representing more than 22,000 U.S. employees.
"Step by step, U.S. solar producers are returning to a day when they no longer are forced to compete with the government of China," said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America in the press release.
"Our own factories here in Oregon are surrounded by several campuses of Intel, the world's largest semiconductor producer and a U.S. manufacturing success story. So please do not tell us that U.S. manufacturers who pioneered and built the solar industry cannot compete globally under conditions of fair trade."
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