Beijing is urging Washington to stop anti-dumping investigations into imports of solar power products from China.
China's commerce ministry has expressed “serious concern” over the issue vowing to defend its producers.
“China will closely follow the case, assess the impact on the Chinese solar sector and resolutely safeguard our interests through various mechanism,” said the ministry in a statement. “Dialogue and consultation are effective means to settle trade disputes,” it added.
The Chinese call came after the US Commerce Department on Thursday opened anti-dumping and countervailing investigations over imports of certain solar products from China. The US move can have a major impact on China’s fast-growing solar market.
The US and China have been wrangling over trade in renewable-energy equipment in recent years.
The Chinese ministry said “a similar probe into Chinese solar cells that opened in November 2011 did little to help improve the performance of the US solar industry and exerted negative influence in the downstream sector.”
The latest sparring began after the US unit of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG filed a complaint at the end of 2013 claiming that a loophole in a prior trade case enabled Chinese solar panel producers to evade duties by using cells manufactured in other countries, mainly Taiwan.
According to Reuters, the latest US probe could lead to expanded duties on some imported solar panels from China.
In October 2012, the US set steep duties on billions of dollars of solar products from China.
China says it expects the US to conduct dialogue and consultation to settle the dispute instead of taking trade remedy measures.