No surprise here-- China doesn't like getting caught
Now, as Steve Mufson reports in the Washington Post, Beijing is asking the WTO to block U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels.
The truth is that Beijing doesn't want to accept being labeled as a lawbreaker. But the Commerce Department's decision was based on a lengthy investigation that found Chinese subsidies, especially those given to state-owned enterprises, violated trade agreements and provided Chinese firms with an unfair edge over U.S. firms.
In an op-ed last week in the Financial Times, Dr. Usha Haley explained that the Commerce Department's decision was a sound response to the "overproduction" and dumping of product from China into the U.S. market.
Haley says that China's attempt to dump its subsidized solar panels in the U.S. market is a logical extension of Beijing's manufacture-at-all-costs approach, with Chinese solar-panel manufacturing capacity being "32 times greater than domestic consumption." Haley says that, as a result, China exports 95 per cent of its production.
The burgeoning solar panel industry is important to U.S. manufacturing and deserves federal support in the face of China's mercatilism. U.S. solar manufacturers were right to file a trade case alleging that the Chinese manufacturers received World Trade Organization-illegal subsidies and sold their cells and panels below cost.
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