US ruling ignites fresh solar row
Updated: 2014-06-05 06:51
By Xie Yu in Shanghai (China Daily)
Storehouse of a solar product producer in Shandong province. Top Chinese officials were extremely "dissatisfied" with the US decision to apply preliminary duties of between 18.56 percent and 35.21 percent on Chinese solar products imports. Dong Naide / For China Daily
Higher duties may prompt Chinese firms to exit market
The US decision to impose fresh tariffs on solar imports from China will further escalate the trade friction between the two countries and prompt Chinese solar firms to exit the US market altogether, industry sources said on Wednesday.
Top government officials said they were extremely "dissatisfied" with the US decision to apply preliminary duties of between 18.56 percent and 35.21 percent on Chinese solar products imports.
The US Commerce Department on Tuesday said it was imposing the preliminary duties on Chinese solar panel products as it felt that Chinese manufacturers had benefited from unfair subsidies. It said its actions followed a new round of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar products started earlier this year.
The move is meant to "close a loophole" allegedly used by Chinese manufacturers since 2012, when Washington imposed tariffs on solar cells made in the Chinese mainland, the basic building blocks of a solar panel. Chinese mainland companies have been able to avoid paying duties by assembling panels with cells made in offshore locations like Taiwan.
However, most of the Chinese solar firms do not accept the charges of "unfair subsidy" or "dumping products below cost". Instead, they interpret the move as pure trade protectionism.