US jacks up import tariffs on Chinese solar panels

Posted at May 19, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on US jacks up import tariffs on Chinese solar panels

The US authorities have hiked import tariffs on Chinese solar panels to 30% or more, after ruling that manufacturers have dumped cut-price panels on the market.

Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce (DOC) announced levies on solar panels manufactured in China of around 3-5% after it emerged that companies had received illegal subsidies.

A further investigation into the allegation of illegal dumping of low price panels on the US market has found in favour of the case brought by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM).

US companies have complained that Chinese companies were setting falsely low prices, forcing the competition out of business.

Top Chinese exporters including Suntech, Trina and Yingli will now face tariffs of around 31%. But some companies, which did not participate in the investigation, could face tariffs of up to 250%.

The tariffs will be imposed retrospectively over the past 90 days and while they are being welcomed by US manufacturers there are concerns that the move will produce a slow-down in solar installations or spark a trade war between the two nations.

Mark Kingsley, chief commercial officer of Trina Solar, said the move by the DOC was “short-sighted” and that the company remains committed to “sustainably driving down total installed per watt cost”.

“We intend to strongly defend with data our position that these duties are unwarranted and serve as an impediment to the broader adoption of solar energy in a time of rising fuel costs,” he added in a statement.

But managing director of Yingli Green Energy Robert Petrina admitted that the decision was not unexpected, although he added that the company would be defending itself aggressively.

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US government imposes import levy on Chinese solar panels (22-Mar)
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