Solar trade war: US imposes preliminary anti-dumping tariffs of 26-165% on solar PV from China, Taiwan


The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued steep preliminary anti-dumping (AD) tariffs on solar products from China and Taiwan, which will add to substantial preliminary anti-subsidy (countervailing duty or CVD) tariffs imposed a month ago.

A number of Chinese PV makers were singled out for special duty rates, and among these Trina Solar got the lowest preliminary AD rate at 26.33%. However, to avoid double-counting of export subsidies, the effective combined AD and CVD duty rate for Trina is only 29.30%.

Other manufacturers did not get off so easily. A list of 42 companies including market leaders Yingli, Canadian Solar and Hanwha SolarOne were assessed at a 42.33% anti-dumping duty rate, for a combined AD/CVD tariff of 47.27%. The exception to this is Wuxi Suntech. While assessed at the same AD rate, the company received a higher CVD rate, and as a result importers of these modules must pay a combined AD/CVD tariff of 49.24%.

However, the highest rates are reserved for companies not on the list. Due to a ruling of “adverse facts” including non-cooperation with the investigation, companies not named in the investigation were assessed at a 165.04% AD rate, which makes for a combined AD and CVD rate of 191%.

Unlike 2012 tariffs, this set of AD and CVD tariffs includes both PV cells and modules made in China, and the anti-dumping investigation includes PV cells and modules made in Taiwan. AD rates for Taiwanese PV cell maker Gintech were set at 27.59%. For Motech these rates are 44.18%, and for all others 35.89%.

GTM Research says that it stands by the assessments made in an earlier report in terms of the impacts of these rates. “The tariffs in this case are so high as to prohibit basically any manufacturer from selling at a competitive price in to the U.S.,” says GTM Research VP Shayle Kann.

Chinese PV module makers also have the option of using Chinese cells and simply paying the 2012 duty rates, as the current investigations exclude products covered by the 2012 tariffs.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s final AD ruling will be on or about December 16th, 2014, which will be followed by an International Trade Commission confirmation ruling on January 29th, 2015.

The fact sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce can downloaded here.