Canada determines evidence of harm from Chinese solar imports

In a statement released on its website, the CITT said it had conducted a preliminary inquiry and that this had determined a ‘reasonable indication’ that the dumping and subsidizing of panels originating from China had harmed the Canadian solar sector.

The finding follows a December announcement from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that it had opened an inquiry into dumping following official complaints from Eclipsall Energy Corporation, Heliene, Silfab Ontario, and Solgate.

At the time, one Chinese analyst said the move would have little effect, given the relatively small size of the Canadian market. pv magazine reported that Meng Xian’gan, deputy director of the China Renewable Energy Society, told local media that the Canadian inquiry highlighted the competitiveness and status of Chinese solar products.

The most recent finding from CITT is the latest in an ongoing series between various branches of the Canadian government and Chinese manufacturers. In 2013, the CBSA initiated an anti-dumping and countervailing duties action on silicon metal. At the same time, CITT began a parallel investigation into whether ‘dumped and subsidized imports [of the same products had] caused material injury to the Canadian industry’.

Anti-dumping investigations into China’s solar industry have long been a thorn in the side of the Asian superpower. Previous conflicts with Europe and the U.S. have resulted in almost tit-for-tat anti-dumping measures by and against the countries involved.

These measures appeared to come to a head between 2012 and 2014. It was in July last year that the U.S. Department of Commerce released its preliminary anti-dumping tariffs, which were met with sustained criticism from Chinese manufacturers.

The issuance of those tariffs even prompted a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce that referred to ‘escalating trade friction’ between itself and the U.S. That spat followed the launch in November 2012 of an investigation into European imports of solar grade polysilicon by the Chinese government by the same Ministry of Commerce. The Chinese government followed that move by issuing anti-dumping import tariffs of up to 57% from July 2013.