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Commerce Department Imposes Tariffs of More Than 31 Percent on Solar Cell and Module Imports from China

May 18, 2012

The U.S. Department of Commerce ruled on May 17 that Chinese solar cell and module manufacturers sold their products in the United States at prices below the cost of production and imposed antidumping duties ranging from 31 to 250 percent.  The duties are retroactive to 90 days before the decision is officially published and will be added to the anti-subsidy tariffs of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent that the department imposed in March.

In October, Wiley Rein LLP, led by International Trade partner Tim Brightbill, filed petitions on behalf of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., an Oregon-based solar cell manufacturer, asking the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission to conduct antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into Chinese imports of crystalline silicon solar cells and modules.  Alan H. Price, chair of the International Trade Practice, also is leading a domestic coalition of utility scale wind tower producers in its petition for an antidumping investigation into Chinese and Vietnamese imports of utility scale wind towers.

The New York Timesnoted that the antidumping decision in the solar case "is one of the largest in American history, covering one of the largest and fastest-growing categories of imports from China, the world's largest exporter."

The decision has received broad media coverage, including in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times.

The Commerce Department's fact sheet on the decision can be read here.