US slaps big duties on Chinese solar cells

The United States slapped hefty anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar cell makers Thursday in a move likely to heighten trade tensions between the two global economic powers.

The Commerce Department said it had found that Chinese solar cell producers and exporters had been selling solar cells into the United States at artificially low prices, meriting anti-dumping duties of between 31 percent and 250 percent.

It named Suntech Power, the world's largest maker of solar cells, and another large producer, Trina Solar, as key offenders, but said at least 59 other Chinese companies would also be hit with anti-dumping charges.

The ruling follows a March decision that China was unfairly subsidizing solar cell exports and set counterveiling duties of 2.9 percent to 4.7 percent.

Both moves take aim at a huge market that Chinese exporters have come to dominate with the help of vast state subsidies, their US rivals say.

Sales to the US solar cell and solar panel market were worth $3.1 billion to Chinese producers last year, according to the Commerce Department.

The trade action came in response to a formal complaint to the US government by the US producer SolarWorld Industries America.

Under the new ruling, Suntech, also called Wuxi Suntech, and Trina would both see 31 percent anti-dumping duties.

Another 59 exporters would also see duties applied at that level, while another group of unnamed producers and exporters would be hit with 250 percent duties.

The duties also cover panels and modules made in other countries using Chinese solar cells.

The US Customs service was ordered to begin collecting bonds on imports based on those rates, pending likely confirmation of the policy by the Commerce Department, expected in October.

The moves come as the US steps up efforts to protect domestic manufacturers from Chinese imports that it alleges benefit from deep subsidies and an artificially undervalued currency.

In February President Barack Obama took direct aim at China's huge trade surplus with the United States when he ordered the creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to expedite unfair trade complaints from US business.

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, which represents 210 US companies in the industry, cheered the Commerce ruling.

"Today's decision is expected to have an impact on the US marketplace for Chinese manufacturers since it will begin to remove the advantage they have had as a result of their illegal trade practices," the group said in a statement.

"However, it will not disrupt solar growth or solar installations in the United States."

Chinese solar cell makers have steadfastly denied shipping unfairly subsidized and unfairly priced products to the United States.

After the counterveiling duties were set in March, Suntech insisted its success was based on "free and fair" competition.

"Unilateral trade barriers, large or small, will further delay our transition away from fossil fuels," Suntech's chief commercial officer for Suntech Andrew Beebe said.

Another Chinese company, Yingli Solar, also defended its business practices.

"We are not dumping, nor do we believe that we are unfairly subsidized," Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli's US subsidiary, said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options