Duties Set by U.S. on Imports of China, Taiwan Solar Goods

(Bloomberg) — The Obama administration will set duties on

solar products from China and Taiwan that combined could exceed

more than 200 percent, adding fuel to a renewable-energy clash

between the U.S. and China.

The Commerce Department also finalized its plan to include

in the tariffs any solar panels assembled in China, no matter

the origin of the cells.

The department issued final duties on solar cells

manufactured in China and Taiwan in a case brought by SolarWorld

AG, a German company with a factory in Oregon. The U.S.

International Trade Commission must rule in the last step before

the tariffs are finalized. A decision is due next month.

SolarWorld, based in Bonn, persuaded the Commerce

Department in 2012 to apply tariffs on imports of solar cells

from China. After the tariffs kicked in, imports of panels with

cells made in Taiwan boomed, and SolarWorld a year ago said

Chinese makers had shifted production to skirt the U.S. tariffs.

“These remedies come just in time to enable the domestic

industry to return to conditions of fair trade,” Mukesh Dulani,

U.S. president of SolarWorld, said in a statement. “The tariffs

and scope set the stage for companies to create new jobs and

build or expand factories on U.S. soil.”

A group that opposed the tariffs, the Coalition for

Affordable Solar Energy, said the decision would undercut the

growth of the industry in the U.S.

Undermines Pledges

“Taxing solar trade undermines both the spirit and

efficacy of pledges made by the U.S. and China to Work together

in the battle against global warming,” coalition president

Jigar Shah said in an e-mailed statement.

The ruling will worsen trade disputes over solar products

between China and the U.S., China’s commerce ministry said in a

statement on its website.

Hanwha Solar, a South Korean company with a cell factory in

Malaysia, had tried to fend off the proposal to expand the

penalties, saying it would get punished for making its cells

outside of China.

The final duties set include an increase in tariffs on

products from China, and a 5 percentage point reduction in

duties on those from Taiwan compared to the proposed rates set

out earlier this year.

The decision will “push Chinese producers to build

manufacturing plants for solar panels and cells overseas,” said

Xie Jian, president of Shanghai-based JA Solar Holdings Co.

The department had set preliminary subsidy rates of up to

49.79 percent on imports from China, and dumping rates that

averaged 52.13 percent for most importers for China. The highest

dumping rate was set at 165.04 percent. Taiwanese producers face

duties ranging from 11.45 percent to 27.55 percent, the

department said.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Mark Drajem in Washington at

mdrajem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Jon Morgan at

jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

Steve Geimann

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