Arguments and counter-arguments between China and the US over the anti-dumping duties on solar photovoltaic modules continue as China aims to block an attempt by the US Department of Commerce to expand the scope of the duties.
The Department of Commerce had earlier asked industry stakeholders to comment on a proposal that would see anti-dumping duties levied on modules assembled in China but using raw material from any country. Currently, modules having raw material produced in China itself and Taiwan face anti-dumping duties.
Interestingly, such a regulation would even cover solar cells produced in the US itself. As a result, US-based cell manufacturer Suniva is up in arms against this proposal.
The US has been pursuing the anti-dumping regulations against modules of Chinese-origin for a long time now. The strategic tussle between the two super powers has helped little in the resolution of this issue. The Department of Commerce comes up with frequent advisories and notes in this issue. The EU, too, has initiated similar investigations and imposed duties but the trade tussle in this case is rather amicable.
The EU had proposed to implement high anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar power equipment. However, the two parties managed to reach an agreement wherein Chinese manufacturers that sell a pre-decided volume of equipment at a minimum price will be exempt from these duties. Even India had also launched an investigation into anti-dumping practices with regard to solar equipment imported from the US, China, Malaysia and several other countries. After much deliberation, India decided against levying duties.
Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce announced fresh anti-dumping duties on Chinese module manufacturers. These duties, preliminary at that time, were as high as 197% on some manufacturers who had not cooperated with the investigations. Some of the well-known companies that face these duties are Yingli, Canadian Solar, Hanwha SolarOne, and Trina Solar.
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