Monday, Oct 20, 2014

US senators seek Obama Admin intervention on solar panel issue

India is an important global market for solar PV modules with approximately 1,000 MW installed in 2013. (Source: AP) India is an important global market for solar PV modules with approximately 1,000 MW installed in 2013. (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | Washington | Posted: July 1, 2014 9:42 am

Two influential American senators have sought Obama Administration’s intervention over the recent Indian decision to impose anti-dumping duty on US solar panels.

Senators Sherrod Brown of the Democratic Party and Rob Portman of the Republican Party in a letter called on US Trade Representative Mike Froman to drag India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) if the Indian government chooses not to cooperate and reverse its decision.

The two senators said the Indian decision to impose anti- dumping (AD) duty ranging from USD0.11/watt to USD0.48/watt against US solar cell and panel products would put Ohio companies like Toledo-based First Solar at a competitive disadvantage.

This would increase the price of US exports to levels uncompetitive in the growing but fragile Indian energy market, they said. “We write to express serious concern about recent action taken by the Indian Government that will have harmful consequences for US solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facilities and effectively close the Indian solar market to American PV companies,” the senators wrote.

“We urge you to engage the Indian Government to reverse this action and to challenge their actions at the WTO if they do not…Ohio’s solar manufacturers and their supply chain partners are globally competitive and leaders in solar innovation, and it is critical that they get equal access to the Indian market,” they said.

The two senators said: “We are concerned about reports that the Indian government’s anti-dumping investigation disregarded data provided by US manufacturers, selectively relied on information to bolster the Indian industry, and otherwise conducted the investigation in a manner that violates WTO rules,”

“It is important that India’s new Finance Minister Arun Jaitley understand the benefits of rejecting the anti-dumping duties before they are applied and before any further legal action is taken by the US government,” Brown and Portman said. “India is an important global market for solar PV modules with approximately 1,000 MW installed in 2013 and expected steady growth over the next several years to over 20,000 MW in 2020.

“Ohio’s solar manufacturers and their supply chain partners are globally competitive and leaders in solar innovation, and it is critical that they get equal access to the Indian market,” they said in the letter.

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