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US delays dumping decision on China solar cells, official says

The US Commerce Department said it delayed a decision on antidumping duties for Chinese solar-cell imports following three postponements in its separate decision on countervailing duties.

A preliminary determination will be made on May 17, Tim Truman, a department spokesman, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The determination had been scheduled for March 27.

The postponement follows delays in the agency’s determination of countervailing duties. The investigation into China’s subsidies for the nation’s solar companies has been “extraordinarily complicated,” according to a notice in the Federal Register on February 22. The decision on countervailing duties, was moved to March 19 from January 12.

US solar-equipment manufacturers, led by Bonn-based SolarWorld’s US unit, claim they are being harmed because China’s government uses cash grants, discounts on raw materials, preferential loans and tax incentives, and manipulates its currency to boost exports of solar cells.

The US International Trade Commission took the first step toward imposing added tariffs on Chinese solar imports on December 2, saying US solar-equipment makers are being harmed by Chinese imports. China rejected the ruling, with the nation’s Ministry of Commerce saying the decision shows American “inclination to trade protectionism.”

Anti-dumping duties apply to goods sold overseas at or below the price in the home country. Countervailing duties seek to offset the benefits of government subsidies to industries.

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