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NYT: China Condemns U.S. In Solar Trade Battle

Read the original news at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/business/international/china-criticizes-new-us-tariffs-on-solar-products.html?_r=0

BEIJING — China’s Commerce Ministry castigated the United States on Monday for setting new import duties on Chinese solar products, saying Washington’s actions risked damaging the industry in both countries.

On Friday, the United States Commerce Department placed heavy antidumping duties on solar panels and cells from China after a preliminary finding that the products were being sold in the United States for less than the cost of production.

The move by Washington, which must still be confirmed, was the latest in a long-running solar industry trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies and came on top of anti-subsidy duties levied last month.

The American side disregarded the facts in its decision, an unidentified Chinese commerce official from the trade remedies and investigations bureau said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

“The frequent adoption of trade remedies cannot resolve the United States’ solar industry development problems,” the official said. “We hope the United States can prudently handle this investigation, quickly end investigation procedures and create a good environment for competition in the global solar industry.”

Trade friction is unavoidable, but governments have a responsibility to prevent it from harming China-United States relations, the official said. “If escalating problems in the China-U.S. solar industry are ignored, in the end it will damage up- and downstream industries in both countries.”

The American unit of the German solar manufacturer SolarWorld is seeking to close a loophole allowing mainland Chinese producers to sidestep duties imposed in 2012, complaining that mainland Chinese manufacturers dodged those duties by shifting to Taiwan the production of cells used to make their panels.

Under the preliminary ruling on Friday, Taiwanese producers also face antidumping duties of up to 44.18 percent.

But the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, which represents mainly installers, said the duties would hinder the deployment of clean energy by raising the prices of solar products and hurting consumers.

The solar industry has suffered in recent years from a glut of products from China, falling prices and a withdrawal of consumer subsidies in Europe, which have squeezed profit margins and led to numerous trade disputes.

American imports of solar products from China were worth $1.5 billion in 2013, half the level of 2011, while imports from Taiwan more than doubled, to $657 million over the period, according to United States data.

The United States Commerce Department will make its final decision by Dec. 15. The United States International Trade Commission is to make a decision by Jan. 29 on whether the imports threaten American producers.

Dallas Added Nonstop Daily International Flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong of China

Infographic of the Week: Non-Stop Flight Times from Dallas-Fort Worth By: Ryan Tharp, Director of Research and Economic Development Air connectivity is vital for a business to thrive. Dallas-Fort Worth is a booming economic powerhouse that utilizes global air connectivity to reach new markets. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field offer passengers direct, non-stop routes to over 200 destinations around the world. New international routes to Asia, Europe, and South America have opened in the last few years with dozens more to come in the next five years. Next month the restrictions on long-haul flights from Love Field will expire, and new non-stop flights will be added to the growing list of destinations. Cities on either coast are accessible within a three-hour flight. For business professionals, this means that one could leave for a meeting in New York or Los Angeles in the morning and be back in time to pick up the kids from school. Businesses need this type of air connectivity to thrive, and Dallas-Fort Worth’s connections help facilitate that.flight-times-infographic Read the original news from Dallas Regional Chamber Blog on September 18, 2014 2:20pm at http://dallaschamberblog.org/2014/09/18/infographic-of-the-week-non-stop-flight-times-from-dallas-fort-worth/  

Dallas Morning News: American Airlines plans to fly from Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing

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An American Airlines jet taxiis at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in this July 2014 photo (Terry Maxon/DMN)
American Airlines plans to begin nonstop service next year from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Beijing, it said Thursday.
The route would be the third DFW-China route that American has launched within 12 months. It began flights from D/FW Airport to Shanghai and Hong Kong in June. “By adding this new Beijing service, American will achieve a significant milestone in the development of its Asian network by offering nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth to five key markets in Asia -Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo,” American’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Nocella, said in American’s release. “The pending addition of Beijing and recent additions of Shanghai and Hong Kong elevate Dallas/Fort Worth to one of the primary connecting hubs between Asia and destinations within the U.S. as well as Mexico, Central and South America,” he said. American asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to fly the route since the air service treaty between the United States and China limits the number of weekly flights allowed. However, not all frequencies are being used, and American expects no problem getting the required permission. American did not give a start date for the new flights other than “next summer.” It said it would use a Boeing 777-200ER, the same model being used on the DFW-Shanghai route. With the DFW-Beijing route’s start, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will have five routes to Asia. American has flown for 27 years to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, and it began flying to Seoul, South Korea, in 2013. The D/FW flights to Beijing will give Aemrican a second gateway to China’s capital. It has flown to Beijing from its Chicago O’Hare hub since 2010. We raised the question of DFW-Beijing service in June as American was preparing to launch its Shanghai and Hong Kong routes. Nocella said then he would expect that American would want to launch a Beijing route “within the next two or three years.” We also asked Sean Donohue, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s CEO, about the possibility of a DFW-Beijing route. His answer was that he wasn’t aware of anything in the near future. “But fair to say, the obvious next choice would be Beijing. We’ve been working hard, talking to multiple carriers that would be interested in that,” Donohue said last June. “Obviously, we’d be more than interested if American was looking at it, but I don’t see anything imminent. However, more service to China is clearly on our priority list.” The American announcement included comments from the mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas, Donohue and a Chinese official. “We are thrilled with today’s news and this new route connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing is a huge milestone for the region and for DFW Airport,” Donohue said. ”With this new route, American will offer travelers six daily flights to Asia from DFW Airport, which is American’s prime point of entry for Asian customers into the United States and Latin America.” “Today’s news is great for Dallas/Fort Worth area residents who will have direct access to China’s capital city for the first time,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “This new route will connect our great Metroplex to a very important destination in Asia and will play a key role in further strengthening ties between our region and Asia.” “The trans-Pacific market is critical for business across the state of Texas and this new service is a direct conduit to open new opportunities for trade and tourism in our region,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings saud. “This new route represents a huge opportunity for significant economic impact for our region by connecting DFW directly to Beijing.” “This new route will provide our region with critical nonstop access to one of the most populous cities in the world,” said Li Qiangmin , consul general of the People’s Republic of China in Houston. “This expansion of service to China is tremendously important, and will not only benefit business relations and economic growth in both countries, but also help bring closer Chinese people and American people, and eventually be conducive to the China-U.S. cooperative relations.” This marks the second time Aemrican has proposed a D/FW-Beijing route. When U.S. and Chinese negotiators agreed to allow expanded service between the two nations in 2006, American had applied for the D/FW-Beijing route and was a favorite to get the route. However, the length of the trip was longer than allowed its pilot union contract. The Allied Pilots Association demanded some concessions in exchange for allowing the longer flights, and the company declined to agree to the changes. American asked to amend its application to make it a D/FW-Chicago-Beijing route, a change that would keep each leg of the flying within duty-time limits. However, DOT officials passed over the AA application in favor of United Airlines’ proposal for a Washington, D.C.-Beijing route. Read the original news from Dallas Morning News at http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/american-airlines-plans-to-fly-from-dallasfort-worth-to-beijing.html/?hootPostID=c5dd11d59dacbfc3d6caeb287cae0ebc  

Bloomberg: China Targeting Foreign Companies, American Chamber Says

By Bloomberg News Sep 2, 2014 4:05 AM CT

Read the original news at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-02/u-s-companies-say-china-subjectively-enforcing-laws.html

China is targeting foreign companies with opaque laws and rules, according to a group representing U.S. businesses there, contributing to a deteriorating environment for investment in the nation. Sixty percent of respondents to a survey last month by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said they feel foreign business is less welcome in the country than before, the group said today in Beijing, up from 41 percent in a late-2013 survey. Forty-nine percent said foreign companies are being singled out in recent pricing or anti-corruption campaigns. U.S. companies are joining Europeans in flagging increased concern that local authorities involved in an antitrust crackdown are discriminating against non-Chinese corporations. The campaign threatens to exacerbate a decline in foreign direct investment in the world’s second-largest economy. American Chamber members say they have “growing perceptions that multinational companies are under selective and subjective enforcement by Chinese government agencies,” Greg Gilligan, the group’s chairman, said in a report today. Laws and rules “lack transparency and are at times only vaguely related to the particular case.” Dozens of foreign companies are being targeted in probes, with regulators opening an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp. in July and state media accusing Apple Inc. of using its iPhone to steal state secrets. The survey released today was conducted from Aug. 22 to Aug. 28 with 164 respondents, while the previous one had 365 responses in November and December, according to the chamber.

Groundless’ Accusations

China’s anti-monopoly measures are transparent, fair and done in accordance with the law, Qin Gang, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a regular briefing in Beijing today, responding to the chamber’s report. “China will as always welcome foreign companies and enterprises to develop cooperation in all fields and build a good market economy,” Qin said. “At the same time, we request foreign companies observe Chinese laws while in China.” Accusations that most of China’s antitrust probes are directed against foreign companies are “groundless and baseless,” Xu Kunlin, head of the National Development and Reform Commission’s anti-monopoly bureau, said in an interview published today in the state-run China Daily.

Auto Parts

Volkswagen AG’s Audi, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat SpA’s Chrysler, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have announced price cuts of vehicles or spare parts since July in the wake of the probes. General Motors Co. said last month that its joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp. has been responding to regulator requests since 2012. China last month found a dozen Japanese auto-parts makers guilty of price fixing and doled out the biggest antitrust fines in the country since relevant rules came into effect six years ago, with Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and Yazaki Corp. drawing the biggest penalties. The anti-monopoly campaign will gradually eliminate the “comparative advantage” of foreign companies in China, said Chen Xingdong, chief China economist at BNP Paribas SA in Beijing. “They are going to lose the sense of superiority,” Chen said. “That’s definitely a shock.” American Chamber members have “concerns that rules are shifting again for foreign companies in China in ways that are highly opaque and difficult for local managers to anticipate or adapt to,” Gilligan wrote in a note accompanying a report on China’s investment environment. “Our member companies strive hard for full compliance and need support and greater clarity to achieve that goal.”

Targeting Industries

China is targeting industries where it wants domestic companies to catch up, including in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology and autos, Lester Ross, a chamber vice chairman, said at a briefing today in Beijing. “China used to be more friendly to foreign companies, but the honeymoon is over,” said Jin Jianmin, a senior researcher at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo who previously worked for China’s government. The government has started to take complaints from domestic companies about preferences for foreign firms more seriously, Jin said.

Microsoft, Oshkosh

The American Chamber’s membership includes more than 3,800 people from more than 1,000 companies, according to a media statement today. Members include Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Dell Inc., Oshkosh Corp. and Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., according to its website. Gilligan is vice president and managing director for PGA Tour China and previously worked for McDonald’s Corp. in China. Authorities raided the offices of software maker Microsoft in July, whileQualcomm Inc. and Mead Johnson have also fallen under anti-monopoly scrutiny in China. Gilligan cited evidence presented in a previously published survey and later by individual members for the concerns that show a “deteriorating landscape of the business environment for foreign investment in China.” Lu Ting, head of Greater China economics at Bank of America Corp. in Hong Kong, said the anti-monopoly campaign probably won’t have a “significant impact” on foreign investment and China’s economy. Non-financial foreign direct investment in China fell 0.4 percent to $71.1 billion in the first seven months of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to government data. To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Scott Lanman in Beijing atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Scott Lanman