Anti-dumping duties set on solar imports

The United States on Friday set new import duties on solar products from China and Taiwan after the Commerce Department found that the solar panels and cells are being sold too cheaply on the U.S. market.

Preliminary anti-dumping duties as high as 165.04 percent for Chinese goods would come on top of anti-subsidy levies imposed last month, as the U.S. arm of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld seeks to close a loophole allowing Chinese producers to sidestep duties imposed in 2012.

China’s Trina Solar faces total import duties of nearly 30 percent and Suntech Power nearly 50 percent as a result of Friday’s decision.

Taiwanese producers face anti-dumping duties of up to 44.18 percent, with the highest rate applying to Motech Industries, Commerce said. There will be no doubling-up of duties with those from the 2012 case.

The new duties, which must still be confirmed, are likely to inflame U.S.-China tensions already exacerbated by recent accusations that Chinese military officers were cyberspying on U.S. companies involved in trade disputes, including SolarWorld.

SolarWorld said the new duties would average 47 percent for most companies, compared with 31 percent in the 2012 case.

The company, which makes crystalline silicon solar panels in Oregon, complained that Chinese manufacturers dodged those duties by shifting production of the cells used to make their panels to Taiwan.

— Reuters

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