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U.S. to Probe If Asian Factories Are Evading Solar Tariffs

  • Commerce Department to pursue investigation into circumvention
  • Inquiry could upend U.S. solar sector, project developers say
Solar Cell Production Inside A Trina Solar Ltd. Photovoltaics Plant

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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The U.S. is launching an investigation into whether Chinese solar-equipment manufacturers are evading tariffs by sending components to other Asian nations for assembly before exporting the finished products.

A decision by the U.S. Commerce Department to open a probe requested by Auxin Solar Inc., a small California panel maker, marks the first formal step of an investigation that could span a year and culminate in expanded duties on the imports.