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US solar panel duties could cost it China market, minister warns

Published on Nov 10, 2012 3:40 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Washington's decision to approve steep duties on Chinese-made solar panels could cost American exporters a growing market, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Saturday, adding that he did not want to see a trade war.

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) voted last week in favour of duties ranging from 23.75 per cent to about 250 per cent, ruling that a flood of cheap solar panels from China had hurt US-based manufacturers. Similar cases were under way in Germany.

China already struck back by launching an investigation into imports of solar-grade polysilicon from both the US and South Korea, and warned of action against European polysilicon.

"If you say I bought your equipment and raw materials but now that I am shipping my products you want to pop on a 249 per cent tariff, fine then, but why should I buy any more of your raw materials or equipment?" Mr Chen told reporters on the sidelines of the 18th Communist Party Congress.

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