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MOEA to help solar cell firms deal with anti-dumping policy

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Saturday it will help the domestic photovoltaic industry respond after the United States decided on Friday to issue preliminary anti-dumping (AD) tariffs of 27.59-44.18 percent on solar products from Taiwan.

The U.S. Department of Commerce set the punitive tariffs on solar products from China and Taiwan after finding that the cheaper prices charged for imported solar panels and cells on the U.S. market were hurting American producers.

Deputy Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao said the ministry was surprised by the anti-dumping rates imposed by the U.S., which were higher than expected and will put Taiwan's vendors at a major disadvantage.

The MOEA, Cho said, will help domestic manufacturers hire lawyers, accountants, anti-dumping legal experts, and U.S. consultants to deal with the matter.

The ministry will also help Taiwan's manufacturers develop solar products that are not subject to the U.S. anti-dumping tariffs or shift sales to new emerging markets, the official said.

He also said he expected the U.S. Department of Commerce to lower the anti-dumping rates imposed on Taiwanese suppliers when it issues a final decision on the case in mid-December.

The case was considered a victory for the U.S. unit of SolarWorld AG, which accused China of shifting production to Taiwan after it lost an earlier case, according to a Bloomberg report.

The penalties were imposed on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells used in solar modules or panels that were being sold at unfairly low prices in the United States, and they applied to Taiwanese cells even when used in Chinese-assembled panels.

According to the Commerce Department's finding, it imposed three different preliminary anti-dumping rates on Taiwanese companies — tagging Gintech Energy Corp. with a 27.59 percent rate, Motech Industries Inc. with a 44.18 percent rate, and all other Taiwanese producers with a 35.89 percent rate.

Preliminary anti-dumping rates of 26.33-165.04 percent were imposed on imports of solar photovoltaic cells and modules from China.

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