Faced with tariffs of up to 250% on Chinese made solar panels imported into the USA; China’s solar industry and government certainly isn’t done fighting yet.
The proposed antidumping duty (AD) on solar cells from China, whether or not assembled into solar panels, is not set in stone; but some manufacturers are already making moves on the premise it will occur.
According to OregonLive, JA Solar Holdings Co., a Shanghai-based manufacturer, is on the hunt in Western U.S. states for potential plant locations in order to avoid the tariff – which in JA Holding’s case would be 35%.
Suntech, one of the companies the action was originally targeting, has brushed off the antidumping duty; stating Suntech solar panels it manufactures in the US or ships to the USA are not subject to the tariff. However, Suntech’s chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi said the “entire process has damaged the American solar industry and makes it harder for solar to compete against fossil fuels.”
Four major solar industry players have also formed the new Solar Energy Promotion Alliance – which consists of Yingli, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Trina Solar Ltd. and Canadian Solar Inc. The Alliance will tackle the anti-dumping probe and also aims to establish “harmonious, free and equal industry order without trade barriers and disputes”.
Even USA solar trade bodies have expressed serious concerns over the ongoing stoush. According to Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “The escalating trade conflict in the global solar industry will ultimately hurt the entire market at a time when solar energy is on the cusp of widespread adoption.”
“In the long run, continually escalating trade disputes in the solar industry will shut down markets around the world. Companies from all nations will be the ultimate losers.”
China’s government has also come out swinging. It has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) investigate what it alleges are discriminatory trade practices by the USA in the form of import duties on 22 Chinese products; including solar panels. Chinese officials have reportedly stated the practices have resulted in loss worth $7.3 billion to their country.