American solar duties may hurt cooperation

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A worker installs solar panels. [CFP] 

The Ministry of Commerce on Thursday expressed concern over the United States' anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into Chinese exports of solar panels, saying potential duties could hurt cooperation in the clean energy sector.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday that it will conduct an investigation to determine whether Chinese companies have been selling solar panels in the United States at unfair discounts and receiving illegal government subsidies.

Shen Danyang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce, yesterday said Chinese people and enterprises are strongly displeased with the U.S.'s attempts to blame Chinese exports for its own sluggish development.

"The probe could impede the progress of global efforts to deal with climate change," Shen warned in a statement on the ministry's website.

China retains the right to take relevant measures within the framework of the World Trade Organization, Shen said in the statement.

SolarWorld AG, along with six other U.S. solar panel manufacturers, filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission alleging that Chinese companies have been dumping products on the U.S. market at prices below the cost of production.

The companies also accuse the Chinese government of providing illegal subsidies, cash grants and tax breaks to its solar-power manufacturing industry, thereby injuring U.S. manufacturers. The proposed punishment is duties of more than 100 percent on the price of imported solar panels from China.

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