China Solar Makers Seek Talks to Resolve Trade Dispute With U.S.

May 21, 2014 5:00 am ET

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. led China’s biggest solar-panel makers in seeking talks to end a trade dispute with the U.S. before an American probe into the Asian country’s exports reaches an initial conclusion in June.

China’s solar industry “strongly opposes the U.S. anti- dumping investigation” and denies any illegal subsidies are provided for its products, according to a joint statement from the group of Chinese producers and industry associations.

The U.S. began investigating Chinese exports this year amid concerns loopholes are being used to avoid anti-dumping duties as high as 250 percent that America imposed from 2012. Trade tensions heightened this month as the U.S. charged five Chinese military officials with spying on companies including the U.S. unit of Solarworld AG, Germany’s biggest solar panel maker.

China has set anti-dumping charges as high as 57 percent for U.S. makers of polysilicon, used in panels. Chinese panel makers including ReneSola Ltd. and China Sunergy Co. are looking to manufacture abroad as the trade dispute threatens exports.

“We have more choices than those in 2012,” Yingli Chief Financial Officer Wang Yiyu told reporters today in Shanghai. “At worst, we can build overseas factories or move to the downstream” to develop solar farms, Wang said. U.S. probes may affect $2 billion to $3 billion of trade, Canadian Solar Inc. Chief Executive Officer Shawn Qu said at the same event.