Commerce Department imposes tariffs on solar panels from China
Last December, a group of 59 Senators and Members of Congress urged President Obama to investigate allegations that Chinese firms are dumping subsidized solar panels in the U.S. at below fair-market value.
Today, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed tariffs of roughly 31% on imports of Chinese-made solar cells.
U.S. solar panel manufacturers reacted favorably. The 210-company Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing today reacted positively to the news that the U.S. Department of Commerce found Chinese manufacturers guilty of dumping solar cells and panels into the U.S. market, calling it a very positive first step.
According to The Hill's Andrew Restuccia:
The decision is a victory for solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld Industries America, which, along with several other manufacturers, pressed the administration to impose the tariffs last year.
“The verdict is in,” SolarWorld President Gordon Brinser said in a statement. “In addition to its preliminary finding that Chinese solar companies were on the receiving end of at least 10 WTO-illegal subsidies, Commerce has now confirmed that Chinese manufacturers are guilty of illegally dumping solar cells and panels in the U.S. market. We appreciate the Commerce staff’s hard work on this matter.”
The company accused China of violating World Trade Organization rules, making it difficult for U.S. companies to compete.
The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing quoted Steve Ostrenga, chief executive officer of Helios, as saying today's Commerce's ruling "is a bellwether decision. It underscores the importance of domestic manufacturing to the U.S. economy and will help determine whether the country will be a global competitor in clean technologies or outsource them China. It is also critically important for thousands of U.S. workers."
Several U.S. manufacturers of solar panels had filed dumping charges against Chinese firms to offset illegal subsidies by the Chinese government. And the United Steelworkers (USW) had previously filed a section 301 trade case against China alleging that dumping and subsidies in the clean energy sector were adversely affecting U.S. manufacturers of renewable energy.
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