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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry on Friday announced an investigation into U.S. renewable energy government policy support and subsidies after a U.S. decision earlier this month to probe sales of Chinese-made solar panels in the United States.

The announcement comes after a top official of China's solar industry association said on Tuesday that Chinese solar companies may ask Beijing to launch an anti-dumping and subsidy probe into imports of U.S. polysilicon, raw material used to make solar cells, into the mainland.

"The Ministry of Commerce has decided to initiate a trade barrier investigation into policy support and subsidies for the U.S. renewable energy sector," said a statement by the ministry on its website.

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