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BREAKING NEWS: US Department of Commerce Imposes Tariffs on Chinese Solar
Posted on May 17, 2012
U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced their preliminary decision to impose anti-dumping tariffs of 31 percent and higher on Chinese solar manufacturers. The final decision will be made later in the year.
Back in March, the Department of Commerce had issued 2.9% to 4.7% anti-subsidy tariffs on solar imports from China after the World Trade Organization declared that illegal subsidies had been provided to China’s solar industry by the Chinese government.
Following a complaint made by SolarWorld and the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) that Chinese companies had “dumped” solar products below fair market value, the DOC began their investigation. This Thursday, the preliminary ruling was announced, imposing new anti-dumping duties on exported Chinese solar cells, whether or not they are assembled in modules. These tariffs are added onto the existing anti-subsidy duties Chinese manufacturers have already been paying.
Over half of the solar panels in the U.S. market are Chinese. To remain profitable, the Chinese will have to raise prices to some extent. Many speculate that the Chinese manufacturers will produce solar cells in Taiwan and Mexico to work around these new tariffs. Tariffs on non-exporting producers in China are now as high as 250 percent, preventing current Chinese exporters from operating through other companies.
Needless to say, this has taken the solar industry by storm.
Proponents of these anti-dumping duties argue that they are necessary to ensure that US manufacturers can continue to compete in the global market. They argue that Chinese pricing was unjust and it was wiping out American manufacturing jobs, citing the highly-publicized bankruptcy of Solyndra.
Conversely, the critics of the new anti-dumping tariffs contend that this will impede growth of the solar industry. They point out that this decision will not only create tension with China, but it will also increase the cost of solar energy, making it less competitive with fossil fuel-based energy sources. During such a critical point of growth in the solar industry, many are questioning the Department of Commerce’s preliminary decision.
What do you think about these new tariffs on Chinese solar panels?
I believe clean, renewable energy is key to the evolution of society as a whole. Solar powers our planet, why not harness it to power humanity? Let's power our homes, our work, and our vehicles with solar energy. It begins with raising awareness and encouraging those around us to go green.