(Bloomberg) — The Obama administration will set duties on
solar products from China and Taiwan that combined could exceed
more than 200 percent, adding fuel to a renewable-energy clash
between the U.S. and China.
The Commerce Department also finalized its plan to include
in the tariffs any solar panels assembled in China, no matter
the origin of the cells.
The department issued final duties on solar cells
manufactured in China and Taiwan in a case brought by SolarWorld
AG, a German company with a factory in Oregon. The U.S.
International Trade Commission must rule in the last step before
the tariffs are finalized. A decision is due next month.
SolarWorld, based in Bonn, persuaded the Commerce
Department in 2012 to apply tariffs on imports of solar cells
from China. After the tariffs kicked in, imports of panels with
cells made in Taiwan boomed, and SolarWorld a year ago said
Chinese makers had shifted production to skirt the U.S. tariffs.
“These remedies come just in time to enable the domestic
industry to return to conditions of fair trade,” Mukesh Dulani,
U.S. president of SolarWorld, said in a statement. “The tariffs
and scope set the stage for companies to create new jobs and
build or expand factories on U.S. soil.”
A group that opposed the tariffs, the Coalition for
Affordable Solar Energy, said the decision would undercut the
growth of the industry in the U.S.
“Taxing solar trade undermines both the spirit and
efficacy of pledges made by the U.S. and China to Work together
in the battle against global warming,” coalition president
Jigar Shah said in an e-mailed statement.
The ruling will worsen trade disputes over solar products
between China and the U.S., China’s commerce ministry said in a
statement on its website.
Hanwha Solar, a South Korean company with a cell factory in
Malaysia, had tried to fend off the proposal to expand the
penalties, saying it would get punished for making its cells
outside of China.
The final duties set include an increase in tariffs on
products from China, and a 5 percentage point reduction in
duties on those from Taiwan compared to the proposed rates set
out earlier this year.
The decision will “push Chinese producers to build
manufacturing plants for solar panels and cells overseas,” said
Xie Jian, president of Shanghai-based JA Solar Holdings Co.
The department had set preliminary subsidy rates of up to
49.79 percent on imports from China, and dumping rates that
averaged 52.13 percent for most importers for China. The highest
dumping rate was set at 165.04 percent. Taiwanese producers face
duties ranging from 11.45 percent to 27.55 percent, the
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Mark Drajem in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at