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Solar PV firms say US dumping petition harmful

(China Daily)

10:39, November 02, 2011

BEIJING - A petition by US solar energy companies that alleges dumping by their Chinese competitors will harm both the US and Chinese photovoltaic (PV) solar cell industries and worsen unemployment in the US, an industry official said.

"We are urging them to withdraw the petition", said Li Junfeng, secretary-general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.

Li's comments were made in response to the petition by SolarWorld AG and several other US-based solar-cell companies to the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, alleging that Chinese companies have sold solar panels below cost in the US market.

If the US government begins an investigation, it will bring considerable damage to PV companies in both countries, Li said. "Chinese companies are only one part of the global PV solar production chain," said Li. "If the US government raises (duties) on the Chinese PV products, the cost of US PV products will increase and the market will be downsized." "The US government's objective of employment expansion through the PV energy market will fail to be achieved," Li added.

According to Li, an investigation will only benefit two or three US companies, saving about 300 jobs, but resulting in up to 10,000 people losing their jobs at other US companies directly and indirectly.

China spends $2 billion annually to import raw materials such as poly-silicon, ethylene vinyl acetate and silver paste. The nation's solar industry spent about $3 billion in 2010 to import equipment from the US, according to the association.

"These equipment manufacturers and material suppliers will suffer as a result," Li said.

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