The Chinese government has unambiguously stated its concerns about President Trump’s decision to introduce tariffs on imports of solar PV modules into the U.S.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reflected on the fast pace at which the Chinese solar industry has been expanding, and suggested that the new tariffs may reflect badly on the industry’s outlook.
“China’s solar industry has been growing at a fast pace in recent years, making itself a target of protectionism in some countries,” the MIIT said, as reported by Reuters.
Earlier this week, President Trump announced safeguard tariffs on solar module and cell manufacturers for the next five years, starting at 30% and ending at 15% in the fourth year, with the exemption of 2.5 GW of cell imports per year.
The decision prompted a flurry of reactions, ranging from the warmly welcoming, to a growing belief that matters are now spiraling out of control, and could lead to market contraction and heavy job losses in the U.S. GTM Research, for instance, has predicted that President Trump’s tariff decision will trigger an 11% reduction in the U.S. market over the next four years.
However, the MIIT said it would continue to encourage Chinese solar companies to moderately expand businesses overseas.
According to the MIIT data, China, the world’s biggest solar panel maker, produced a total of 68 GW of solar PV cells and 76 GW of solar modules in 2017, up 33.3% and 31.7% respectively, compared to a year ago.