US Upholds Duties on Chinese Solar Products

Posted October 11th, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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The United States Commerce Department has upheld steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels it says are being “dumped” into the U.S. market at artificially low prices.

The Wednesday ruling confirmed an earlier finding that Chinese solar companies were benefiting from unfair government subsidies. It set tariffs ranging from about 24 to 36 percent on most Chinese solar products to offset the subsidies.

On average, the tariffs were slightly lower than the preliminary decision reached in May. But the decision is still likely to anger China, which has responded by opening its own probe into alleged U.S. subsidies for solar product exporters.

Timothy Brightbill, a lawyer for the companies that brought the case, said the decision was “another important step in returning the solar marketplace in the United States to fair competition.”

But many U.S. solar companies were disappointed the Commerce Department did not close a “loophole” by expanding the case to include Chinese solar panels made with non-Chinese products.

Many are concerned the ruling will encourage Chinese manufacturers to simply shift production to nearby countries in order to get around the duties.

The tariffs will not go into effect until the ruling is confirmed by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is expected to decide on the case in November.