Is China Dumping Solar Panels?

Chinese solar panel manufacturers, which had virtually no presence in the American market three years ago, now hold more than half of it.

Solar power is a politically charged issue in Washington, in part because of the bankruptcy this summer of a solar panel maker, Solyndra, after it had received more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees.The use of solar energy in the United States is growing fast, but Chinese solar panel manufacturers have been growing even faster, raising their American market share to more than half now, from almost none five years ago.

By bringing together complex issues like manufacturing policy, job creation and climate change, the solar panel dispute is emerging as the most politically charged trade case in many years, potentially rivaling Detroit’s legal case against Japanese automakers under a related trade statute in 1980.

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