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China’s Commerce Ministry has reaffirmed an earlier decision stating that six US renewable energy projects are in violation of World Trade Organization rules, setting the stage for legal action against US solar and wind manufacturers.
This is part of the tit-for-tat renewable energy trade war between the US and China (and, increasingly, Europe), which began last year when the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), led in the US by Germany’s SolarWorld, filed a complaint with the WTO against alleged Chinese dumping of solar panels on the US market.
This resulted in the US Commerce Department slapping tariffs on Chinese solar imports and later a response by SolarWorld in Europe, which has filed similar complaints with the European Union against Chinese “dumping”.
China originally filed its petition based on initial findings in November 2011, right after CASM filed its complaint. Since then, it has been biding its time and reviewing its initial findings, which were reaffirmed this week.
China may now choose to impose tariffs on US goods or may use the situation to strengthen its bargaining position to force the US to reduce tariffs on Chinese goods.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com