China Pushes Back in U.S. Solar Investigation

A picture shows solar panels installed on the roof of a building in Lille on September 9, 2013.  (National Journal)

Chinese officials are pushing back against the implication that its sale of solar panels to the United States is undercutting the domestic market, Reuters reports.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Chinese ministry of commerce called on the U.S. to end an investigation begun earlier this month by the Commerce Department into the sale of solar panels by Chinese merchants to U.S. buyers.

The department is looking to see whether a loophole exists whereby sellers avoid paying import-export duties by peddling solar panels manufactured outside of China, in countries such as Taiwan. If this is occurring, it could put domestic solar-panel manufacturers at a disadvantage and could cause the department to tack on additional tariffs to solar panels sold by Chinese companies.

Chinese officals are pushing back in the face of the U.S.-led investigation, however, as Beijing's commerce ministry vowing to "resolutely defend" its trading practices.

"The Chinese side expresses serious concern," the ministry said. "China urges the United States again to carefully handle the current ... investigations, be prudent in taking measures and terminate the investigation proceedings."