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Will The US Soften Chinese Solar Import Tariffs?

The US Department of Commerce is investigating imposing softened tariffs on Chinese solar imports, only a few weeks after announcing tariffs that would have slapped fees of between 31% and 250%.

The news has been welcomed by those within in the industry, with the Coalition for Affordable Energy (CASE) calling the move a “step in the right direction.”

Chinese and Taiwanese solar imports have been under a lot of scrutiny of late, especially from the US Department of Commerce, which had been investigating implementing tariffs for the better part of 2014. Come December, and the DOC proposed the following tariffs for China:

Commerce-1

And for Taiwan:

Commerce-2

In response, the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO released the following statement:

“Unfortunately, today’s ill-advised and unprecedented decision will harm many and benefit few. We remain steadfast in our opposition because of the adverse impact punitive tariffs will have on the future progress of America’s solar energy industry. It’s time to end this costly dispute, and we’ll continue to do our part to help find a win-win solution.”

A new proposal, however, has suggested that rates be implemented that are lower than those currently in effect.

“The proposed lower tariff rates are a step in the right direction for the US solar industry, and we applaud the Department of Commerce for reviewing competitive information and adjusting the tariffs downward,” said Jigar Shah, President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy. “Lowering the tariff import tax means more American consumers will be able to afford solar power and more American solar companies will be able to expand their hiring.

“While this is positive news, it does not solve the underlying problem. The US solar industry remains unfairly penalized by a trade policy that inflates the cost of solar power and has already expanded to include imports from Taiwan.

“We continue to urge the governments of the United States and China to negotiate an end to the trade war for the benefit of all countries involved.”

 
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