WASHINGTON, US: The United States upheld steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels finding that improper trade practices have undermined an American solar industry that the largest US manufacturer is in the midst of collapse. In one of the largest trade cases the US has pursued against the Asian superpower, the Commerce Department said China’s government is subsidizing companies that are flooding the US market with low-cost products (dumping). To counteract those price cuts, the US government imposed tariffs ranging from 18 per cent to nearly 250 per cent.
For some Chinese companies, those tariffs are lower than preliminary tariffs imposed in May. Still, another set of duties dealing with improper subsidies was increased dramatically. While the initial ruling levied anti-subsidy fees ranging from 2.9 per cent to 4.7 per cent, the final ruling issued sets those fees at 14.8 per cent to 16 per cent.
When the two penalties are combined, most companies will face duties similar to those imposed earlier in the year. In a blow to US companies requesting the tariffs, the government declined to expand the scope of the case to cover products partially produced outside of China.
A group of US companies led by Oregon-based SolarWorld, asked the government to penalize China, claiming unfair trade policies are delivering a one-two punch to the US solar industry. First, the companies argue, China is improperly subsidizing its own companies to prop them up. Next, Chinese manufacturers are dumping their products on the US market below cost, absorbing a short-term loss in hopes of putting their US competitors out of business.
© The Economic Times News