China Holds U.S. Bound Solar Cells Amid Trade Row

   on November 07 2011 4:53 PM
Solar Panels
Amid claims that China is dumping photovoltaic components and power cells in the U.S., $500 million worth of solar cells are being withheld by another Chinese solar company. Reuters

CECEP Solar Energy Technology Co Ltd, part of the Chinese solar power giant China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group, announced on Monday their intention to put $500 million worth of U.S solar projects on hold.

A U.S. anti-dumping dispute between Beijing and Washington is cited for the hold, reported Reuters, which will affect projects in New Jersey, California and Texas. The installation of the solar components would be made uneconomical if the dumping case is upheld said company officials.

Dumping is the process by which a country or company exports a good at prices below what they would typically charge in their domestic markets, and the process has been a contentious one. 

Last month, SolarWorld Industries America Inc, a solar photovoltaic manufacturing company headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore, filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission to launch a preliminary dumping investigation. The firm accuses China of dumping silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. A conference between the U.S. firm and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd, the world's largest producer of solar cells headquartered in China, is scheduled for Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

The U.S. company is leading six others against what they call illegal Chinese trade practices, the IBTimes reported. On Dec. 2, the commission hopes to have a preliminary vote to establish whether there is an indication the company's alleged dumping is injuring U.S. firms.

The World Trade Association, however, does not officially rule product dumping as unfair competition.

Not everyone is in favor of the U.S. complaint. Canadian Solar, Inc., is calling foul. In a recent statement, the company called the complaint on Monday exaggerated and without merit, and one that will hurt the solar industry.

We urge the U.S. authorities to put first the interest of the hundreds of thousands of American citizens and businesses who have benefited from affordable solar power either as consumers or workers in the U.S. solar industry.

We believe the petition is counter-productive to the continued development of the solar industry, including the multitude of upstream and downstream businesses located in the United States, and to the development of lower priced products needed to make solar power an economically attractive alternative to traditional power sources, read the statement.

Join the Discussion