The U.S. Commerce Department has imposed antidumping tariffs of over 31% on Chinese solar panels. That’s according to the New York Times, which also says the move is likely to anger Chinese officials.
The U.S. spent $3.1 billion on cells from China in 2011. That’s half of the American market, the Times says.
The new tariffs will likely mean an increase in the price of solar panels for U.S. customers.
The Times says Chinese officials do no like criticism of their solar panel industry, especially since the U.S. has encouraged China to use renewable energy for years.
Li Junfeng, president of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, has responded angrily to the decision. He says Chinese companies will likely retaliate by accusing American chemical companies of dumping polysilicon on the Chinese market.
Some large Chinese manufacturers say they will try to convince the Commerce Department the new tariffs are unjustified.
The solar tariffs come in addition to antisubsidy tariffs of 2.9 to 4.73% that were imposed in March. The new tariffs are retroactive to 90 days before the decision is officially published.
SolarWorld Industries America called the decision a positive step.
Opponents of the tariffs in the U.S. point to benefits from cheap Chinese production.
The antidumping decision is still preliminary. But if importers win a final review by the Commerce Department, the tariffs could be reduced, refunded or even increased.
The Commerce Department calculated the 31% tariff by estimating Chinese manufacturers’ costs and determining how far below cost the solar panels were being sold in the United States.
To read the full New York Times article cited in this story, click here