China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) rejected as without merit a preliminary ruling by a US trade panel that Chinese solar imports hurt US manufacturers, Bloomberg reported. The ruling was issued by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on December 2, in a unanimous vote that called for anti-dumping and countervailing taxes. The commission is now set to begin a full investigation. China’s MOFCOM issued a statement the next day, saying that “[t]he ruling was made without sufficient evidence showing US solar panel industry has been harmed,” and “prominently shows the US’s strong inclination to trade protectionism and for which China is deeply concerned.” US solar panel manufacturers argue that the Chinese government subsidizes its domestic industry via cheap loans, grants, tax incentives, subsidized commodities and an undervalued currency. SolarWorld, a German-based firm with US operations, launched a complaint with the ITC and Commerce Department in October.