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Mr Trump Adds Firepower To The 201 Trade Case
Mar 31, 2018

(PV-Tech) The Chinese government's subsidy to solar manufacturers is an "unforeseeable development" in the volume of imports that hurts US companies.

That is the conclusion of a report by the US International Trade Commission at the request of President Luobote·laite, the US trade representative.

"Unforeseeable developments" have made it possible for the international solar industry to be suspended under rules established under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT) framework.

Mr. Laite Xize's request for the ITC report has pushed the deadline for President Trump's decision on the trade case to January 26.

"When the United States joined GATT in 1947, when the United States joined the WTO, and when the United States entered the WTO through China, the representatives of the United States 'trade negotiations could not have foreseen that the Chinese government would implement the industrial policies, plans and government support projects mentioned above, which were in direct violation of the responsibilities that China undertook to fulfil upon its accession to the WTO. The ITC said in its report.

"Nor can trade negotiators in the US foresee that these industrial policies, plans and government-backed projects will lead to the expansion of Silicon photovoltaic products in China to a level that exceeds domestic consumption. Delegates could not foresee much of this capacity shifting to export markets such as the US. The report also said.

When the request for such a report was made, the move was interpreted by many as a failure by the President to obtain sufficient evidence to make a decision. In fact, the report is more an attempt to support adjustment of WTO measures.

Historically, trade cases against international competition that use Article 201 of the US Trade Act have been in conflict with WTO provisions. The last 201 trade case, which dealt with steel imports, was rejected.

The solar appeal will last about three years and South Korea has threatened to take action. All trade bailouts under section 201 have been effective for four years.

Update on Suniva's Bankruptcy

Suniva's main creditor, SQN Capital, recently rejected Suniva's request for an extension in the hope that Suniva would be able to complete Chapter 11 proceedings as planned. Suniva has been granted several extensions to enable it to better plan its future, a situation that is a regular occurrence.

SQN rejected the latest extension request. This means that within two weeks of the 201 trade deadline, Suniva will either submit its own post-Chapter XI bankruptcy process plan or leave the door open for creditors to register themselves.