SolarWorld Wants ‘Loophole’ Benefiting China Panel Makers Closed

SolarWorld Industries America, the U.S. solar-panel unit of Germany’s SolarWorld AG (SWV), wants to close a loophole it says allows Chinese competitors to avoid tariffs.

The company filed petitions with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce against China and Taiwan, alleging producers are being improperly subsidized and selling below cost, SolarWorld Industries said in a Dec. 31 statement on its website.

The U.S. in 2012 imposed anti-dumping tariffs of as much as 250 percent on solar cells imported from China and anti-subsidy penalties of about 15 percent. Chinese manufacturers have avoided the tariffs by assembling panels with cells made elsewhere, including in Taiwan, according to the statement.

“Should the loophole be filled, the Chinese makers would be forced to build production facilities in third countries or seek overseas cooperation with local equipment manufacturing,” Wang Xiaoting, a Beijing-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said today by phone. “The U.S. is a stable solar market, so Chinese manufacturers are unlikely to give it up.”

The U.S. expects to install as many as 4.6 gigawatts of solar panels this year and 5.2 gigawatts in 2015, London-based BNEF estimates.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Feifei Shen in Beijing at fshen11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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