A recent decision to impose substantial anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar cell manufacturers shook the solar world. The intention of these duties is to prevent unfair “dumping” of Chinese solar products in the US market, which hurts American manufacturers. Those in opposition to these tariffs feel that they have created anxiety within trade relations and threaten to stifle the growth of this global industry.
So what have these tariffs actually done thus far? In the aftermath of a preliminary decision by the Department of Commerce to tax Chinese-made solar cells, many are wondering what exactly has changed.
As anticipated, Chinese companies found a loophole, allowing them to keep solar panels at low prices in the US market. The tariffs are surely an inconvenience to many Chinese manufacturers, who must now produce solar panels with cells that were manufactured outside of China.
If you recall, these tariffs were only placed on solar cells that are manufactured in China. Because these tariffs to not include the completed panels, it has left an opportunity open for Chinese companies to work around the anti-dumping duties.
Many Chinese firms have been leveraging relationships with manufacturers of solar cells in Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and other countries.
For this reason, some American manufacturers are pushing to extend these duties to Chinese-made solar modules. Accordingly, critics speculate that if this were to happen, Chinese companies would work through Taiwan-based firms to produce the actual solar modules. It seems that no matter how the US tries to maintain control, Chinese companies discover new means of evading tariffs. By branching out into nearby counties, Chinese solar manufacturers are able to circumvent the law.
Shen Danyang, of China’s Ministry of Commerce, described the US Department of Commerce’s new tariffs as “trade protectionism.”
Tensions remain high around this issue. Retaliatory measures could be taken against the US, bringing about a trade-war. This could include the Chinese government placing duties on US silicon imports to China, further exacerbating trade relations and making matters worse for the global solar market. European companies may be pushing for similar actions against Chinese-based solar firms. There is still much to unfold in this trade saga.
Having an vested interest in these issues, we’ll keep an eye on this and let you know about any further developments. Fortunately, pricing has not been fluctuating much, which means our prices have not increased. Just as operations in China are relatively normal, it’s business as usual at GoGreenSolar.com.
What are your opinions on this matter? Tell us what you think!