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US solar firms against China duties

(Shanghai Daily)

08:42, December 22, 2011

A COALITION that says it represents 97 percent of the United States solar industry has urged solar panel maker SolarWorld to withdraw a petition asking US President Barack Obama's administration to slap punitive duties on China for unfair trading practices.

"The severe tariffs SolarWorld seeks would have a very damaging effect on the solar industry in the United States and would fundamentally undermine many years of effort by all of us who care about the future of solar power," the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) said in a letter to SolarWorld President Gordon Brinser.

"In simple dollar terms, your petition threatens the planned installation of solar electric power systems in the amount of US$11 billion in 2012 and the potential installation of US$60 billion currently in the total pipeline," the group said in the letter signed by CASE chief Jigar Shah.

Shah, who founded the solar services company SunEdison, argued that a 40 percent drop in solar panel prices between 2006 and 2011 has helped spur an eight-fold increase in demand for solar energy over the same period.

"By asking the government to interfere and artificially increase the price (equivalent to putting on a high tax) will only hinder the deployment, cost thousands of jobs, reduce our energy security and further negatively impact an already shaky economy," Shah said in the letter.

CASE said its 145 member companies employ more than 14,000 solar professionals across every major region and in more than two dozen states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

In a separate interview, Kevin Lapidus, a senior vice president at SunEdison, said CASE was also beginning an effort to persuade the Obama administration the best way to resolve the case was through a negotiated solution with China.

SolarWorld is the US arm of SolarWorld AG, one of Germany's largest solar products manufacturer. It accuses its Chinese competitors of receiving illegal government subsidies and selling in the US at unfairly low prices.

Along with six other US solar energy firms who have chosen to remain anonymous, SolarWorld filed a case in October asking the US Commerce Department to set duties of more than 100 percent on Chinese-made solar cells and panels.

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  1. Name

helen at 2011-12-22203.82.80.*
If anything we shall envisage more and more protectionism from the United States. As far they are concerned, they can do unto others and cry foul when others retaliate. Such infantilism! This is the gist of US policies worldwide - one of bully, intimidation and threats ...Like in all diplomatic matters, RECIPROCITY remains the modus operandi and China must never surrender its negotiating strenghts ....We shall not be dictated around .....!

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