U.S. to impose big tariffs on China and Taiwan for dumping solar panels on market

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to uphold earlier findings that Chinese and Taiwanese photovoltaic manufacturers have been saturating their market with low-cost photovoltaic (PV) panels.

The ruling follows a similar one last month by the Department of Commerce (DOC), which also found the two nations were saturating the market with low-priced PVs and should be penalized. The ITC has the power to impose tariffs or outright ban the importation of goods to the U.S. that infringe on fair trade.

In line with DOC's ruling in December, Chinese PV modules will be "severely punished" with minimum tariff rates starting at 70%; the rates for Taiwanese PV manufacturers will range from 11.45% to 27.55%.

EnergyTrend, a division of research firm TrendForce, said the ITC's decision finally closes the latest and most publicized PV anti-dumping case involving China, America, and Taiwan.

This isn't the first time China has been hit with tariffs for such dumping. In 2012, the U.S. imposed tariffs ranging from 31% to 250% on solar products imported from China. A year later, the European Union followed suit and imposed its own anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Chinese solar panels. Those tariffs averaged 47.7% over a two-year time span.

According to EnergyTrend, China's first-tier manufacturers will be able to use a loophole in the tariffs provided by the favorable review and reduction of the 2012 tariff rates earlier this month. Under the revised rates of 17.5% for 2012, the vertically integrated Chinese firms could still sell in the U.S. with a cost advantage.


Lucas Mearian

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