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|Commerce Increases CVD Rates In Solar Case, But Keeps Narrow Scope|
|Thursday, October 11 2012 11:15|
Posted: October 10, 2012
The Commerce Department on Oct. 10 announced the final antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) rates on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells from China and did not broaden the product scope of the investigation as demanded by petitioners.
The final determination appears to offer something of a mixed result for U.S. petitioners. On the one hand, Commerce increased the CVD rates substantially when compared with its preliminary findings, but the AD rates either stayed about the same or decreased, according to an industry source.
The final CVD rates range from 14.78 to 15.97 percent, whereas the preliminary duty findings in March ranged from 2.9 to 4.73 percent. Last May, Commerce preliminarily applied AD duties ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese imports, whereas the final duties range from 18.32 to 249.96 percent.
The final CVD rate for Suntech was increased to 14.78 percent from the 2.9 percent preliminary rate. Trina Solar, was determined to have a final CVD rate of 15.97 percent, up from its 4.73 percent preliminary rate.
In a blow to petitioners, Commerce rejected their request that the investigation cover modules made in China from solar cells produced in third countries. Petitioners had urged Commerce to broaden the scope in order to ensure that the trade remedies are effective and that Chinese companies cannot get around them (Inside U.S. Trade, Aug. 24).
The scope of the investigation as determined by Commerce covers Chinese solar cells exported to the U.S. and solar modules made in third countries from Chinese cells, but not modules made in China using solar cells that were produced in third countries.
Commerce also affirmed its initial finding that the imports posed "critical circumstances" for the U.S. industry because of stepped-up imports in advance of the filing of the petition. It found that critical circumstances exist both in the CVD and AD investigation for all companies with the exception of AD duties applied to Suntech.
This means that preliminary duty deposits, normally collected as of the date of publication of Commerce's preliminary determinations, will instead be collected 90 days prior to that date, except when it comes to AD duties applied to Suntech. Those will be collected as of the publication date of Commerce's preliminary AD determination.
Concerning next steps, the International Trade Commission is set to make its final determination on whether these imports cause or threaten to cause injury to U.S. industry by Nov. 23. If it makes a positive injury determination, Commerce will issue AD and CVD orders.
The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), which opposed the AD/CVD petition, praised the final determination on scope. "We are gratified that the scope of today's decision is limited only to solar cells made in China," Jigar Shah, president of CASE, said in an Oct. 10 statement.