China has reportedly launched an investigation into whether exporters from the U.S. and South Korea illegally dumped solar-grade polysilicon, according to a report from Bloomberg, which cited China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
The probe was launched after four companies – GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., LDK Solar Co., Daqo New Energy Corp. and China Silicon Corp. – filed complaints with the MOC, the Bloomberg report states.
These latest developments intensify the ongoing trade disputes between China and the U.S. following a ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose countervailing duties on Chinese solar cells and modules imported into the U.S.
The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), which has opposed the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy complaints filed by the SolarWorld-led Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), urged a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
"Tariffs at any point in the global solar value chain are counterproductive and make solar energy less competitive against fossil fuels," said CASE President Jigar Shah in a statement in response to the latest investigation." Looking at the preliminary tariffs set in the U.S., it's clear that the free flow of solar goods is already disrupted, prices are increasing, jobs are being eliminated and businesses are adversely impacted at every level of the global solar industry. We urge all countries to avoid unilateral actions that impede trade and resolve conflicts in a bilateral or multilateral context."
CASM did not comment on the MOC's decision.
Following the news, Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch reiterated his call for a collaborative dialogue.
"We are disappointed by China's decision to escalate the U.S.-China solar trade conflict,’ he said in a statement. ‘Unfortunately, these investigations will have an immediate, adverse impact on U.S. polysilicon manufacturers, regardless of the investigations' outcome. The investigations also threaten the Chinese solar industry's access to the world's most efficient and innovative polysilicon products.
"Some have argued that it's too soon to either start a collaborative dialogue or consider negotiations,’ he added. ‘We disagree – it's never too soon to begin work on solutions and forward-thinking action. And we now have confirmation that disputes within one segment of the solar industry affect the entire supply chain. Let's start the broader collaborative process now.’