On July 20, 2012, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) initiated antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against the United States on imported solar grade polysilicon, a key component of solar panel construction. If China finds that the U.S. producers were dumping or received countervailable subsidies, duties could be imposed on U.S. exports of polysilicon to China as early as January of 2013. China also initiated a simultaneous antidumping proceeding on imported solar grade polysilicon from Korea.

China’s new trade case follows actions taken by the United States in the solar industry. Earlier this year, the United States imposed preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules from China. The U.S. Commerce Department is scheduled to issue its final rulings in the solar panel case on October 9, 2012.

The U.S. companies identified in the polysilicon petition include AE Polysilicon Corporation of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, Hemlock Semiconductor Group of Hemlock, Michigan, Hoku Corporation of Honolulu, Hawaii, MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. of St. Peters, Missouri, and REC Silicon Inc. of Moses Lake Washington.