New Import Duties Imposed on Chinese Made Solar Panels
Late last Tuesday the commerce department in the United States has slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products that are coming from China, ruling that these solar panels were used using subsidies from the Chinese government which further placed stress on the trade tensions happening to the two countries.
The German arm of U.S. solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG is filing a petition that complained on Chinese manufacturers are sidestepping duties that were imposed in 2012 by transferring their solar cell production to Taiwan and continues to flood the market with cheap products. During a preliminary determination the commerce department imposed 35.21 percent on imports of panels along with other products that were made by Wuxi Suntech Power together with five other companies. It also imposed a 18.56 percent duty Trina Solar and 26.89 percent duties on other Chinese companies.
Chine fought back on the original U.S. duties by implementing an anti dumping and anti subsidy duties on U.S. imports of polysilicon, one of the key materials on making solar panels and is accusing the U.S. of curbing Chinese imports. The U.S. has also started its own anti dumping and countervailing investigations on Chinese photovoltaic products and levied high duties along with the imposed duties on these products.
Chinese experts say that the U.S. restrictions is an abuse of the trade remedy measures and is a clear hint of trade protectionism and will only worsen the Sino-US dispute in the photovoltaic trade. The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy said that the ruling is a difficult setback for the entire solar industry in the U.S. will increase the price of solar power and cost of jobs in America in one of the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy.
SolarWorld stated that it’s not fair that Chinese solar producers benefit from government aid from the own country ranging from discounted loans and free utilities which make it hard for U.S. firms to compete. This pushed both the International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to issue final rulings in favor of SolarWorld before the duties will be finalized.