Another nation launches an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar….
Canada is investigating alleged Chinese solar dumping. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responding to a complaint from four Canadian manufacturers.
Eclipsall Energy Corporation, Heliene Inc., Silfab Solar Inc., and Solgate Inc allege that increasing number of subsidized Chinese modules and laminates are undercutting domestic products. This has led to lost sales and lost market shares, price undercutting and price erosion, declining financial results, reduced production and under-utilized capacity, reduction in employment, and recent insolvencies and closures.
“The Canadian solar modules industry can compete on an even footing with any company in the world, but we cannot compete against government funded exporters that dump these goods in our market” said Paolo Maccario, Chief Operating Officer of Silfab in a press release.
There have been similar investigations in other nations. The European Union imposed a tariff last year. India is considering adopting similar measures. Australia has also been investigating dumping charges.
SolarWorld filed a complaint with the US Commerce Department and US International Trade Commission, which imposed a tariff in 2012.
Some industry leaders believe this spreading conflict is harming both the industry and consumers.
After further duties were imposed last July, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), issued a statement saying, “Enough is enough. The Department of Commerce continues to rely on an overly broad scope definition for subject imports from China, adversely impacting both American consumers and the vast majority of the U.S. solar industry,” Resch said. “We strongly urge the U.S. and Chinese governments to ‘freeze the playing field’ and focus all efforts on finding a negotiated solution. This continued, unnecessary litigation has already done serious damage, with even more likely to result as the investigations proceed.”
A spokesperson from SolarWorld says there was a loophole in the initial decision, which allowed Chinese companies to avoid the tariff by using components made in a third country. The Commerce Department is expected to make a final ruling on December 16, 2014.
The results of the Canadian investigation will probably not be known until March 5, 2015. If the CBSA decides the allegation is either unjustified, or too insignificant to pursue, the case will be terminated. The CBSA could also continue their investigation for another 90 days and then a final decision will be announced.
However , if CBSA feels the situation warrants it, they can move faster:
Although duties to counteract the dumping and subsidizing are normally only applied to goods released on or after the date of the CBSA’s preliminary determination(s), if the Tribunal determines that an unusually large increase in harmful imports has occurred prior to the CBSA’s decision and that the retroactive application of anti-dumping or countervailing duty is therefore justified, duty could be levied on the goods brought into Canada as of today.
Meng Xian’gan, deputy director of the China Renewable Energy Society, told the Chinese website Global Times, “We do not treat this as a serious threat. The major markets now for solar products around the world are Japan, the US and China. The Canadian market is a small one. This is not something new. We have been through this with the EU and the US. It actually highlights the competitiveness and status of Chinese solar products on the world stage.”
(Image at top of page: Ken Boon shows off his solar panels, which feed electricity back to the B.C. grid. “We’ve become really aware of energy issues because of the fight against Site C,” Ken says. Photo credit: Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Canada.)