Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) led a group of 18 Members of Congress in sending a letter to International Trade Commission Chairman Irving Williamson, fellow ITC Commissioners, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez. The letter urges the ITC and the Department of Commerce to consider the harm that Chinese solar companies have done to our domestic solar manufacturing industry by artificially lowering prices and flooding US markets with highly subsidized product. Despite a preliminary determination made by Commerce and the ITC that found evidence of such unfair practices, these companies have found a way around the duties through a loophole in the scope of the preliminary determination.
"If Chinese solar companies continue circumventing US trade laws, some US manufacturers will be forced to lay off employees and some will close their facilities," Bonamici said. "This is bad for job growth and could be devastating for our economy."
Bonamici and her colleagues sent the letter in advance of the Commission's final hearing today on solar trade cases. The letter asks the ITC to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of injury to the domestic solar industry and close loopholes in trade regulation to better monitor the Chinese solar industry.
The text of letter follows:
October 2, 2012
The Honorable Irving A. Williamson
Chairman, U.S. International Trade Commission
The Honorable Daniel R. Pearson
The Honorable Shara L. Aranoff
The Honorable Dean A. Pinkert
The Honorable David S. Johanson
The Honorable Meredith Broadbent
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20436
Dear Chairman Williamson and Commissioners:
We write today to express ongoing concern with unfair trade practices by the Government of China and Chinese producers and exporters. Preliminary findings by the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce have already determined that the subsidization and dumping of solar cells and modules in the U.S. market violate U.S. trade laws.
On October 3, 2012, the Commission will hold its final hearing on the Chinese solar trade cases. It is imperative that the Commission consider the evidence of injury to U.S. domestic producers and manufacturers that is caused by Chinese imports, as evidence by the closure of multiple U.S. manufacturing facilities, job losses in the industry, financial difficulties for U.S. companies, and other factors. We also strongly encourage the Department of Commerce to close a loophole in its preliminary determination that allows Chinese manufacturers to circumvent antidumping and countervailing order. By revising the scope of the case, the Department can help ensure that Chinese producers and exporters are not able to weaken the effectiveness of U.S. trade laws by simply shifting parts of their manufacturing process to countries not covered by the orders.
Despite the preliminary dumping and subsidy margins issued by the Department of Commerce earlier this year, Chinese producers have continued to ship dumped and subsidized products into this country at an alarming and unacceptable rate. This is devastating the growth of our domestic solar manufacturing industry and costing us critical manufacturing jobs.
We appreciate your attention to this matter.
The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici
The Honorable Kurt Schrader
The Honorable Earl Blumenauer
The Honorable Peter DeFazio
The Honorable Gary Peters
The Honorable Mark Critz
The Honorable Daniel Lipinski
The Honorable Louise Slaughter
The Honorable Pete Stark
The Honorable Steve Cohen
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
The Honorable James McGovern
The Honorable Betty McCollum
The Honorable Heath Shuler
The Honorable David Loebsack
The Honorable David Cicilline
The Honorable John Garamendi