Chinese producers flood U.S. market with solar cells ahead of ruling in solar trade case

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Chinese producers flood U.S. market with solar cells ahead of ruling in solar trade case


By
Greentech Lead Team:

Chinese producers have more than doubled imports of crystalline silicon solar
cells and modules in advance of potential U.S. government duties on those
imports, according to an evaluation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data
released today by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM).

The
coalition alleges that the recent 110 percent surge in import volume since July
2011 is further proof of illegal dumping and subsidies by Chinese solar
producers and warrants a finding of critical circumstances that would apply
retroactive duties to Chinese imports.

“This
significant increase in imports demonstrates that the Chinese know they have
violated U.S. and international trade rules and are trying to evade the
consequences,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America.

Year to
date, Chinese imports of solar cells and modules in 2011 are up 346 percent by
quantity and 138 percent by value. Since 2008, Chinese imports have risen 939
percent by value and 1664 percent by quantity. This most recent surge of
Chinese solar imports gives the U.S. Department of Commerce the evidence it
needs not only to make a preliminary determination in our favor, but also to
apply a critical-circumstances finding to address this last-minute import
surge.

Under U.S.
trade law, commerce can make a finding of critical circumstances that requires
importers of record to post bonds or cash deposits on tariffs on imports dating
back 90 days from preliminary determinations on whether duties are warranted
and, if so, by what margin. A preliminary determination is expected on Feb. 13,
meaning imports from Nov. 15 onward would be subject to duties.

Using
publicly available data from the Customs and Border Protection’s Port Import
Export Reporting Service (PIERS), CASM researchers found imports from Wuxi
Suntech Power, a Chinese manufacturer and respondent in the trade
investigations, surged 76 percent in November, compared with October. PIERS
reports show that imports from Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, another Chinese
manufacturer and respondent, spiked 209 percent in the first half of December,
compared with the first half of November 2011.

CASM
research found numerous examples of companies stockpiling dumped and illegally
subsidized Chinese imports, providing credible evidence to support a finding of
critical circumstance.

For example,
Sun Electronics, a Miami importer and wholesaler, brought in 31,000 Chinese
solar laminates on a single day: Dec. 21, 2011. This enormous shipment,
consisting of at least 77 shipping containers, required Sun Electronics to rent
six forklifts and drivers and devote four-five other people to screen and sort
the laminates. Sun Electronics noted in an advertisement that it has recently
obtained an entire second storage warehouse, likely demonstrating its intent to
receive other large shipments of Chinese solar products.


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