Chinese companies have slammed the United States as "short-sighted" and warned of a trade war after it imposed hefty duties on solar cells it said were being sold at artificially low prices.
The US Commerce Department on Thursday slapped levies of between 31 and 250 percent on the Chinese solar cell producers in retaliation for the so-called "dumping".
The move is the latest in a long-running trade row between Washington and Beijing, who have clashed over a range of issues that have on occasion had to be settled by the World Trade Organization.
China's Suntech Power, which was specifically named in the US government investigation, called the move out of touch with reality.
"These duties do not reflect the reality of a highly-competitive global solar industry," Andrew Beebe, Suntech's chief commercial officer, said in a statement late Thursday.
He said the company, the world's largest maker of solar cells, would work with the US government to refute the duties.
"Despite these harmful trade barriers, we hope that the US, China and all countries will engage in constructive dialogue to avert a deepening solar trade war," Beebe said.
Another company named by the US government, Trina Solar, said it would still attempt to serve the US market despite the duties and remained committed to keeping prices low.
"This is simply what is required to unlock the next level of fossil fuel replacement in the United States," Mark Kingsley, Trina's chief commercial officer, said in another statement.
"Any duties are short-sighted impediments to this worthy goal."
Both Suntech and Trina will face duties of 31 percent, according to the US ruling.
US Customs was ordered to begin collecting bonds on imports into the United States, though the policy still requires final confirmation by the Commerce Department, expected in October.
The latest announcement follows an earlier US decision that China was unfairly subsidising solar cell exports and imposed duties of 2.9 percent to 4.7 percent.
Both moves take aim at a huge market that Chinese exporters have come to dominate with the help of vast state subsidies, their US rivals claim.
Sales to the US solar cell and solar panel market were worth $3.1 billion to Chinese producers last year, according to the Commerce Department.
The trade action came in response to a formal complaint to the US government by producer SolarWorld Industries America.
Washington has stepped up efforts to protect US manufacturers from Chinese products that it alleges benefit from deep subsidies and an artificially undervalued currency.