China-US Economic Ties

US Accuses China Solar Panel Firms of Dodging Tariffs

 

The US says some major Chinese solar panel makers have been trying to evade tariffs by finishing their products in Southeast Asian countries, trade officials claimed.

Washington said it will impose new duties on imports from the offending solar panel firms after a months-long investigation.

The preliminary decision was bad news for US solar project developers that rely on cheap imports to fuel their growth, but fell short of the industry’s worst fears that Washington would impose new tariffs to cover all solar shipments from the region, instead of just those from specific companies.

US President Joe Biden has set a goal to decarbonise the nation’s power sector – the source of around a quarter of national greenhouse gas emissions – by 2035, something that will require rapid deployment of new solar, wind and other clean energy projects.

 

Also on AF: China 2023 Earnings Forecasts Lifted by Reopening Boost Hopes

 

The US Commerce Department probe found that units of BYD Co Ltd, Trina Solar Co Ltd, Longi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd and Canadian Solar Inc were circumventing existing tariffs on Chinese solar cells and panels that have been in place for a decade.

If finalised next year, the determination means those companies will be subject to duties on the products they make in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam – countries that now account for about 80% of US panel supplies.

Those companies and others will face the same duty rates the United States already assesses on their Chinese-made products, officials said, noting that most of those rates are below 35%. The duties will not kick in until June of 2024 thanks to a two-year waiver from Biden earlier this year.

Producers including New East Solar, Hanwha Q CELLS, Jinko Solar and Boviet Solar were found not to be dodging the tariffs.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

Read more:

China Tariffs Will Stay in Place Despite Review, Says Biden

US Crackdown on China ‘Slave Labour’ Blocks Solar Projects

US Tariffs Represent ‘Leverage’ Over Beijing: Top Trade Official

 

 

Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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