Chinese exporters receive boost from US Commerce Department

The U.S. Commerce Department’s recently released preliminary results of reviews examining antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese solar cells could ease Chinese PV exports into the United States.

More than 20 Chinese PV manufacturers stand to benefit from dramatically lowered dumping margins following the Commerce Department’s administrative review of AD duties covering the period between May 25, 2012, and November 30, 2013.

Among the biggest potential winners of the Commerce Department’s preliminary findings are Yingli, Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, Jinko Solar, Renesola and BYD, which have seen their dumping margins cut down to 1.82%.

In October 2012, the Commerce Department announced AD duties of 31.73% for the Suntech Power group and an 18.32% dumping margin for Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd., which includes Trina Solar. Fifty-nine exporters received a separate dumping rate of 25.96%, while all remaining Chinese exporters were hit with a hefty final dumping rate of 249.96% — which remains in place for dozens of other Chinese PV manufacturers.

Speaking to pv magazine, Ray Lian, principle analyst at IHS Solar Research, said, "Assuming the same rates are determined in final review, the group of Chinese companies with the 1.82% dumping margin will benefit the most until rates are changed again in the next round of administrative review."

Lian added that U.S. downstream players would also benefit from lower module costs "as 2015-2016 are considered years of fast growth in the U.S. PV market."

CASE supports reduced tariffs

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) welcomed the preliminary findings, saying lower rates were a step in the right direction, but stressed that the U.S. market remained “unfairly penalized by tariffs."

Jigar Shah, president of the Washington, D.C.-based industry organization, said CASE applauded “the Department of Commerce for reviewing competitive information and adjusting the tariffs downward.

"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 Shah described the move as “positive news,” he said it did not “solve the underlying problem. The U.S. 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.”

Shah called on the governments of the United States and China "to negotiate an end to the trade war for the benefit of all countries involved."