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October 20, 2011 

Details of U.S. Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Cases Filed on Solar Cells and Modules from China

Yesterday, the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission alleging that Chinese manufacturers of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and panels are selling in the U.S. market at less than fair value and are receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese government.

CASM is a coalition of seven solar companies that manufacture solar cells and panels in the United States. The coalition is led by SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer. The six other companies have chosen to be anonymous, which is unusual in U.S. AD/CVD cases.

The scope of merchandise alleged by CASM to be subject to these AD/CVD petitions is as follows:

Crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, whether or not individually or partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials.
The scope covers crystalline silicon PV cells of thickness equal to or greater than 20 micrometers, having a heterogeneous, homogeneous or patterned p/n junction, heterojunction, metal-insulator-semiconductor junction or charge-induced junction. The junction may be formed by any means, including but not limited to dopant diffusion, ion implantation, epitaxial growth, any other deposition or growth of semiconductors, insulators or metals, or bonding of dissimilar materials. The merchandise subject to these petitions may be either partially or fully processed.
Merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 8541.40.60.20, 8451.40.60.30, 8501.61.00.00 and 8507.20.80. 
The petitions do not include thin-film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide, or dye-sensitized solar cells.

The AD petition alleges that Chinese solar cell and panel producers are dumping their products in the United States in amounts greater than 100% of their value.

The CVD petition claims that Chinese solar cell and panel producers benefit from a range of subsidies from the Chinese government, including cash grants; significantly discounted raw material inputs, such as polysilicon and aluminum; discounted or free land, power and water; preferential loans and directed credit; tax exemptions, incentives and rebates; export assistance credits; and export insurance at preferential rates. 

The statutory timeline for the AD and CVD cases indicates that preliminary antidumping duties could be imposed on these products by January 12, 2012, although such duties could be imposed 90 earlier since the petitioners have alleged “critical circumstances” and are seeking to have duties applied retroactively.

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I hope something happens to this petition. If this goes on it would kill the US solar industry for sure. How can you compete with government-backed Chinese solar companies right?

- feed in tariff analyst

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