WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday that it has launched anti-dumping and countervailing investigations over imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China.
The investigations are in response to a petition filed by SolarWorld Industries America Inc. based in Oregon, the department said in a statement.
The company alleged that certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China were sold below the fair value of the products in the U.S. market with dumping margins of 165.04 percent, while Chinese producers and exporters also received "improper" government subsidies.
The International Trade Commission, the U.S. trade authority, is scheduled to make its preliminary inquiry determination around Feb. 14.
The probes will continue if the trade commission determines that the imports from China "materially injure or threaten the domestic industry of the United States." The U.S. Commerce Department will then make its preliminary determination on countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties in March and June, respectively.
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.
The investigations would not include crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells imported from China that the U.S. Commerce Department decided to levy anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties in 2012.
Beijing has repeatedly urged Washington to honor its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.