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US Commerce Department Upholds Solar Panel Tariffs On China

On Wednesday the US Commerce Department upheld charges of between 18 per cent and 250 per cent on the producer’s of solar panels in China as it was felt that they were being too heavily subsidised by the Chinese Government. However, in a number of companies’ cases, the charges are less than the preliminary tariffs that were announced back in May.

The initial response from Beijing was to demand that the United States repeal these solar panel tariffs as the producers of solar panelling in China are concerned that it will not be viable for them to export to America.  This has come at a time when the manufacturers of solar panels in China are loosing money due to a reduction in demand and a price cutting battle.

Solar panel producers in other countries have not been happy and claim that their competitors in China received various forms of support from the Chinese Government that they considered to be improper.

Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, stated: “The United States is inciting trade friction in new energy and sending a negative signal to the whole world about protectionism and obstructing the development of new energy development. We hope the U.S. side will correct its erroneous action with early termination of the trade remedy measures.”

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co who is one of China’s biggest producers of solar panels commented that tariffs in the region of 30 per cent placed on them would make it unprofitable to export to America as gross profit margins were around 10 per cent.

In July 2012 twenty-five solar gear producers including some from Spain, Italy and Germany filed a complaint of anti-dumping with the European Union.

The most recent tariffs in the U.S. were put in place following complaints from a number of US companies including SolarWorld who are the biggest producer of solar panels in the USA.

It remains to be seen if China will retaliate.

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