CASM: Research Shows Chinese PV Manufacturers Do Not Have Cost Advantage


The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), comprising SolarWorld and six unnamed industry partners, says that new research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that Chinese production of crystalline silicon solar technology for the U.S. market costs more than U.S. production for the domestic market when the costs of shipping are included.

The CASM contends the findings validate its position that the Chinese solar manufacturing industry enjoys no cost advantage in solar production costs but, rather, benefits from a government-underwritten export campaign to injure competition from U.S. manufacturers. The CASM filed petitions with the International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) last fall to seek anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on Chinese imports.

The NREL report, called ‘Solar PV Manufacturing Cost Analysis: U.S. Competitiveness in a Global Industry,’ concludes that Chinese producers have an inherent cost advantage of no greater than 1%, compared with U.S. producers. However, when trans-ocean shipping costs are counted, Chinese producers face a 5% cost disadvantage, the CASM says, citing NREL's conclusions.

NREL found that ‘massive government subsidies’ sponsor the Chinese industrial drive to export about 95% of domestic production, a campaign that has already seized 55% of global market share, the CASM says.

The next step in the CASM's trade case will be the DOC's March 2 preliminary anti-subsidy determination. On March 27, the DOC is scheduled to make its preliminary anti-dumping determination on whether to impose related duties.

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