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China launches WTO case against EU solar subsidies

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012

Solar and other renewable energy technology is especially sensitive because governments that are under pressure to cut high unemployment see it as a growth industry and source of well-paid jobs.

On Wednesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission is to vote on whether Chinese trade practices have injured the U.S. solar industry. It's the final hurdle in a more than yearlong effort by the U.S. to impose steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

Washington imposed tariffs of up to 250 percent on imports of Chinese-made solar panels this year to counter what it said was improper subsidies to the industry, but those tariffs aren't finalized unless the ITC votes to find harm to the U.S. industry.

The disputes have added to financial pressure on Chinese and other solar equipment producers that are suffering heavy losses due to lower sales and a price-cutting war.