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New Tariffs on Chinese Solar-Panel Makers Split the US Solar Industry

Views:15     Author:Quotes     Publish Time: 2014-12-22      Origin:Site

The Department of Commerce slapped high tariffs on solar products from China and Taiwan yesterday in a decision intended to address dumping and unfair subsidization of imports to the United States. The final ruling marks another victory for petitioner SolarWorld Americas in a lengthy solar trade battle.
Imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China were issued duties averaging 52 percent. China's Trina Solar, the world's largest PV module maker, and ReneSola/Jinko received final anti-dumping duties of 26.71 percent and 78.42 percent, respectively.

Commerce also announced anti-subsidy rates on solar products from China ranging from 27.64 percent to 49.79 percent, for an average of 38 percent.

The determination marks a tariff increase from a separate SolarWorld case that concluded in December 2012, with duties on solar cells from China averaging 31 percent.

SolarWorld filed a second anti-dumping and countervailing duty petition in December 2013 to prevent Chinese solar panel producers from sidestepping the 2012 duties by using cells manufactured in Taiwan. U.S. officials agreed to launchnew investigations earlier this year.

In the Taiwan investigation, Commerce issued Gintech Energy Corporation and Motech Industries Inc. final dumping margins of 27.55 percent and 11.45 percent, respectively. All other companies in Taiwan received a final dumping margin of 19.50 percent.

The Commerce Department made a preliminary ruling to impose tariffs on solar products from China and Taiwan in July. Yesterday's announcement increases tariffs on Chinese products by roughly 10 percent and decreases tariffs on Taiwanese products by 5 percent, compared to the preliminary decision.

SolarWorld and its allies in the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) heralded the Commerce Department’s decision.

“These remedies come just in time to enable the domestic industry to return to conditions of fair trade,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld, in a statement. “The tariffs and scope set the stage for companies to create new jobs and build or expand factories on U.S. soil.”

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), an industry group representing mostly downstream U.S. players, responded that the new anti-dumping tariffs will inhibit competition and increase solar panel prices, making it harder for solar technology to compete against fossil fuels.

With Commerce's decision to further tax solar panels from China, “the U.S. government is actually creating a module shortage that will make it hard for the U.S. solar industry to reach it's 2015 and 2016 goals,” said Jigar Shah, cleantech entrepreneur and CASE president.

The decision now goes before the International Trade Commission. If the commissioners find that the U.S. industry has been harmed by Chinese and Taiwanese imports, the tariffs will become permanent on February 1. If not, the tariffs will be thrown out. The ITC is expected to make its final decision on January 20.

New Tariffs on Chinese Solar-Panel Makers Split the US Solar Industry
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