The U.S. Department of Commerce decided Tuesday to impose a payment of countervailing duty (CVD) for crystalline silicon solar cells imported from China.

The decision came after complaints by American companies in the sector who accuse China to subsidize solar manufacturers. We know now the two major Chinese companies that will be impacted by this measure. This is Suntech Power, the world leader in solar panels, and Trina Solar Energy, another major manufacturer.

The field investigation conducted by U.S. authorities deal with the crystalline silicon solar cells with a thickness less than 20 microns, using the p-n junction, which has undergone a transformation or not to collect and transmit electricity produced by the cell. Were excluded from the scope of the thin film photovoltaic products made from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS)

The Commerce Department also decided that the solar panels produced in other countries and using solar cells manufactured in China could also be covered by tariffs anti-dumping/anti-subsidised.

In 2011, the amount of solar cells to imports from China to the United States was estimated at 3.1 billion.

A final decision on the practices of Chinese dumping or not be taken in June, the ministry said in its summary U.S. on Tuesday.

CCME (China) expressed its opposition:

In a statement, the Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCME), warned that the measure, which goes against Chinese interests subvert the growth of the global market of solar and it would cause more adverse effects on the U.S. market.

“Government subsidies have never been a major competitive advantage for Chinese solar panels,” said the CCME, indicating that their competitiveness resided primarily in more advanced technologies, a large-scale production, sound management and strategies prospective.

“The solar panel producers in China have received much less government support than their U.S. and European competitors, and it was consistent with WTO rules,” he said. They wish now that the U.S. government review its “unfair and unjust practices” during its investigations.

US import Chinese statistics:

2009 / /
Number: 26876000 solar cells
Value: 639.5 million euros

2010 / /
Number: 46084000 solar cells
Value: € 1.5 billion

2011 / /
Number: 93292000 solar cells
Value: € 3.1 billion

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