CASM: Future Tariffs On Chinese Solar Imports May Increase


Federal orders issued last week activate final anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duty rates ranging from 24% to 255% on imports of Chinese crystalline silicon cells and panels, says the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), which filed the complaint that ultimately triggered the tariffs.

Moreover, any future Chinese imports entering the U.S. will be subject to reviews that could result in higher duty rates for those imports, the CASM adds.

The duty orders covering Chinese imports of solar cells and panels will remain in place for at least five years, but actual duty margins on any new imports will not be known for more than a year. The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) calculated its duty rates mostly on how much the Chinese industry's U.S. pricing fell below comparable, market-economy production costs during 2011, the CASM says.

The duty rates applying to new Chinese imports will be calculated beginning in late 2013. If pricing is found to have fallen faster than costs since 2011, which they markedly appear to have done, then the DOC will increase duty rates retroactively on those imports, according to the coalition.

‘We want there to be no confusion on this point. While the U.S. government has issued final duty rates to help offset China's anti-competitive trade practices, rates for imports arriving on American shores from now forward ultimately might well be higher,’ states Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., which submitted the trade cases with the support of CASM in late 2011.

‘It's a buyer-beware situation,’ he adds. Importing illegally subsidized and dumped solar products is a risky proposition.’

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