U.S. Revises Tariffs and Duties on Chinese Solar Imports

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The U.S. revised some taxes on solar products from certain companies in China to help thwart dumping amid a renewable-energy spat between the two nations.

The U.S. Commerce Department reduced the average rates imposed on most Chinese solar imports in the final decision of a review, it said on its website.

Some units of Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., the second-largest solar manufacturer, received the lowest so-called anti-dumping rate, 0.79 percent. The rate for another group of companies including Canadian Solar Inc., JinkoSolar Holding Co. and some other Yingli units was set at 9.67 percent. Other companies will pay 239 percent.

The Commerce Department also set anti-subsidy rates for most companies at 20.94 percent.

In a preliminary review released in January, the agency recommended reducing the combined anti-dumping/anti-subsidy duties on most Chinese solar manufacturers to about 18 percent from 31 percent.

Import duties may slow the growth of the U.S. solar industry, Jigar Shah, president of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, said in an e-mailed statement.

“Economically counterproductive tariffs have artificially made solar panel prices in the U.S. the most expensive in the world,” Shah said. CASE was formed to represent most of the U.S. solar industry against the petition.

Solarworld Complaint

Solarworld AG, a German company with a factory in Oregon, persuaded the Commerce Department in 2012 to apply tariffs on imports of solar cells from China. Manufacturers in the Asian nation responded by buying some solar cells from Taiwan, allowing them to avoid most of the duties.

The duties were higher than expected, Philip Shen, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, California, said in a research note to clients.

“This, in our view, is a negative for Chinese module vendors addressing the U.S. market.”

The U.S. has expanded protections by imposing duties that include products from Taiwan. Chinese makers are shifting production overseas to skirt the duties. The Commerce Department in December finalized its plans to include in the tariffs any solar panels assembled in China regardless of the the origin of the cells.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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