BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Monday reiterated its calls for the United States to objectively and fairly handle ongoing solar trade disputes after the latter initiated another probe into Chinese products.
The comments came after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) last week approved anti-dumping and countervailing investigations on crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China, paving the way for the Department of Commerce to set preliminary duties in the months ahead.
The trade panel voted in favor that there was a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry was materially damaged by imports of such products, the ITC said in a statement.
An anonymous MOC official said the investigations, launched on Jan. 23, were aimed at "broadly restricting Chinese exports of silicon photovoltaic products", which had already been hard hit by U.S. anti-dumping duties and anti-subsidy duties on solar cells.
The MOC will continue to coordinate legal defense work with Chinese businesses to protect their rights and interests, the official disclosed.
"China remains open for trade negotiations and hopes for sincere dialogue to properly resolve the issue to achieve a win-win result," the official added.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to make its preliminary countervailing duty decision in March and its anti-dumping duty determination in June.
The investigations are in response to a petition filed by SolarWorld Industries America Inc. based in Oregon, which alleged that crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China were sold below the fair value of the products in the U.S. market, while Chinese producers and exporters also received "improper" government subsidies.
The crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China under investigation were estimated at 2.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, according to U.S. official data.