A new petition was filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce on October 19, 2011, alleging that imports of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels from China are being sold at unfair value (i.e., “dumped”) in the U.S. The petition also alleges that imports from China are benefitting from unlawful government subsidies.

The objective of the domestic industry in filing this petition is to increase the import duties payable on imports of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels through the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties. Crystalline silicon cells convert sunlight to energy and form the basic elements of solar panels, or modules. The cases cover crystalline silicon solar cells, whether imported individually or partially or fully assembled into panels.

The annual volume of trade covered by the petition was over $1.2 billion in imports from China in 2010.

We project the ITC’s initial hearing in this matter will occur on November 8, 2011.

The petitions were filed by SolarWorld Industries America Inc. and supported by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM). The only publicly named member of the Coalition is SolarWorld Industries America Inc. The other names are being treated as confidential.

The petitioner has specifically requested that certain companies be excluded from the definition of the domestic industry, as they are allegedly either related to foreign producers/importers or are themselves importers. These companies are: Evergreen Solar Inc.; Suntech Arizona, Inc.; Motech Americas, LLC; and Wanxiang New Energy LLC.

Imports scheduled to enter the U.S., beginning today, could be subject to retroactive suspension and demands for additional retroactive cash deposits by U.S. Customs & Border Protection. U.S. Importers of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels should monitor this new case closely.

Please contact us if you require any assistance or information. We represent both foreign producers and U.S. importers with an interest in these petitions or the imposition of increased duties.

A more detailed Trade Alert is attached, as well as a list of the U.S. importers named in the petition, a list of foreign producers of the product, and a tentative schedule of the ITC’s preliminary and final phases.