China Says U.S. Solar Ruling Will Hurt Clean Energy Development

(Bloomberg) — China said a U.S. ruling that will trigger
tariffs on solar panels imported from China and Taiwan will hurt
both local manufacturers and American companies that buy them.

The U.S. International Trade Commission yesterday ruled
that solar products imported from China and Taiwan harm
manufacturers, the final step for imposing dumping and anti-subsidy duties on the imports. It’s part of a clean-energy trade
dispute between the world’s largest economic powers.

The move threatens global development of renewables and
will ultimately hurt U.S. companies that benefit from low-priced
solar components, China’s commerce ministry said today in a
statement on its website. China will protect its own interests
in the framework of the World Trade Organization and through the
U.S. justice system, it said.

SolarWorld AG, a Bonn-based company with a factory in
Oregon, got the Commerce Department in 2012 to apply tariffs on
solar cells from China. As a result, imports of panels with
cells made in Taiwan boomed, and SolarWorld a year ago filed a
second case saying Chinese makers had shifted production to
skirt the controversial tariffs.

Tariffs will increase the price of solar power, said Jigar Shah, president of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy,
which opposes the tariffs, in an e-mailed statement.

“More affordable solar energy creates more American solar
jobs,” he said. “We continue to urge the governments of the
U.S., China and Taiwan to negotiate a solution to the tariffs
rather than erecting self-defeating barriers to global trade.”

Job Creation

The tariffs will help U.S. companies invest in factories
and hire new workers, Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of
SolarWorld, said in a statement. “American solar manufacturers
have been doing their part” to boost U.S. employment.

Shayle Kann, an analyst at GTM Research in Boston, said the
decision won’t have as much of an impact as the earlier ruling.

Duties on solar products are already set “prohibitively
high,” he said in an interview.

“Virtually nobody is shipping any product in the U.S. that
is subject to this second case,” he said. The finding “doesn’t
actually change anything.”

The ITC panel voted 5-0 that imports from China were
harming or may harm American manufacturers. The panel voted 4-1
on the Taiwanese imports.

The ITC panel decides only if U.S. makers are being harmed
by the imported products. The Commerce Department had already
set subsidy rates as high as 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 department said. With the ITC ruling, those
duties will now kick in.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Mark Drajem in Washington at
mdrajem@bloomberg.net;
Ehren Goossens in New York at
egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at
jmorgan97@bloomberg.net
Alex Devine, Reed Landberg

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