Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Trina Solar Ltd., a Chinese maker of crystalline silicon panels, denied charges by a competitor that it stepped up sales of solar cells in the U.S. at the end of 2011 to evade possible tariffs.
Trina increased shipments as buyers raced to take advantage of a federal grant program before it ended Dec. 31, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The U.S. Treasury Department’s 1603 program offered cash grants of as much as 30 percent of development costs for renewable-energy projects.
SolarWorld AG, based in Bonn, alleges China’s government is unfairly subsidizing solar-panel production. The German company, which manufactures in the U.S., has asked the Commerce Department to retroactively apply duties on imports arriving in the U.S. as of Nov. 15, Timothy Brightbill, an attorney with Wiley Rein LLP, a law firm that filed the petition, said yesterday. The agency is scheduled to issue a ruling on preliminary remedies to China’s subsidies on Feb. 13.
“We are opposed to any suggestion that our U.S. imports surged as the result of efforts to evade potential tariffs,” Trina said. Almost all of the Changzhou, China-based company’s shipments “served orders tied to the federal 1603 grant expiration,” according to the statement.
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