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China condemns US solar ruling

By Ariel Tung and Du Juan  (China Daily)

08:01, October 12, 2012

A solar panel production line in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. The US has decided to impose punitive tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panel products. [Photo/China Daily]

China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday condemned a US ruling to slap duties on billions of dollars worth of Chinese solar energy products, claiming the decision signals protectionism and hinders the development of new energy.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said the US Commerce Department had ignored reasoning from the Chinese government and enterprises by imposing duties on solar cells made in China.

The US decision runs counter to global efforts to jointly combat the challenges of climate change and energy security and breaks the country's promise not to take fresh protectionism measures, which was made at the G20 summit, Shen said.

He urged the United States to halt trade remedies to deal with its economic issues in order to encourage communication and cooperation that will push forward industry development.

Shen made the remarks after the US Commerce Department affirmed steep tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports on Wednesday, ranging from 18.32 percent to 249.96 percent, after judging that solar panel production was being made artificially cheap by unfair subsidies from the Chinese government, resulting in dumping in the US market.

The US also set additional countervailing duties ranging from 14.78 to 15.97 percent to combat Chinese government subsidies, significantly higher than preliminary levels.

For some Chinese companies, the anti-dumping tariffs are slightly lower than preliminary tariffs announced in May. But the Commerce Department has increased more than threefold anti-subsidy duties imposed on these companies.

Wuxi-based Suntech Power was given a tariff of 31.73 percent, and Changzhou-based Trina Solar Energy received a tariff of 18.32 percent.

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