Following yesterday's announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) that the U.S. will impose tariffs on Chinese PV products, manufacturers based in China were quick to release statements intended to reassure their supply-chain partners and deny any violations of international trade law.
‘As we stated in our testimony to the International Trade Commission, we are not dumping, nor do we believe that we are unfairly subsidized,’ said Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli Green Energy Americas Inc. (Yingli's U.S. subsidiary), in a statement. ‘Regardless of the outcome of this proceeding, we remain dedicated to the U.S. solar market.’
Yingli's modules, like other Chinese modules from manufacturers other than Suntech and Trina, were hit with a 3.61% countervailing duty, per the DOC's decision.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., which received a 2.9% tariff rate, similarly stressed that it plans to continue to offer products to U.S. customers. The company maintains a production facility in Arizona.
‘As a global company with global supply chains and manufacturing facilities in three countries, we are well prepared for the future,’ Andrew Beebe, Suntech's chief commercial officer, in a statement. ‘Regardless whether tariffs are imposed on solar cells from China, we can provide our customers in the U.S. with hundreds of megawatts of high-quality and affordable solar products that are not subject to tariffs.’
Beebe also warned that ‘unilateral trade barriers, large or small, will further delay our transition away from fossil fuels.’
Trina Solar – which received the highest tariff rate, at 4.73% – noted that the trade investigation has not concluded.
‘This determination is only the first step, and is subject to further examination and final determination later this year by the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission,’ Trina said in a statement.
The company believes that as of now, it is ‘premature to speculate’ on what its future plans for the U.S. market might include.
Meanwhile, industry group SEMI – which, like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), has maintained a neutral position on the case – echoed SEIA's calls for productive international dialogue.
‘SEMI urges U.S. and Chinese leaders to begin a dialogue that goes beyond the narrow confines of the current anti-dumping/countervailing duty case and addresses the range of issues impacting solar PV,’ the group said in a statement. ‘More broadly, SEMI calls on trade negotiators around the world to work together on measures that would eliminate trade and investment barriers to solar energy.’
SEMI also reiterated its urging for trade investigators to examine global solar trade circumstances on a ‘factual’ rather than ‘politicized’ basis, and for governments to avoid implementing any retaliatory measures.