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US trade commission finds harm from China solar panels



Published: Wed, November 7, 2012 @ 2:21 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trade panel found China responsible today for harming the U.S. solar-panel industry, clearing the final hurdle for U.S. attempts to impose steep tariffs on Chinese solar companies.

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously that Chinese companies have materially injured U.S. manufacturers, affirming its 2011 vote that launched a yearlong inquiry into low-cost Chinese products that U.S manufacturers blame for putting them on the brink of collapse.

Chinese companies that export billions of dollars of solar products to the U.S. each year will face tariffs of up to nearly 250 percent. The Obama administration imposed those tariffs in October after finding that China's government is subsidizing companies that are flooding the U.S. market with low-cost products — a tactic known as "dumping." Today's vote means that those tariffs, along with anti-subsidy fees of up to 16 percent, will stand.

The stiff penalties affirmed today will be good for five years. The U.S. government will then re-evaluate whether the tariffs are still necessary and at what levels.


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