Renewables, Solar

US industry group protests China’s solar PV taxes

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The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) , which consists of about 250 solar businesses who employ a nearly 25,000 Americans, protested against China’s high taxes on U.S. and Korean companies that produce raw material, called poly-silicon, used to produce photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and panels.

“China’s retaliation against the U.S. industry violates international trade rules,” Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., said. “Time and time again, these retaliatory cases have been found to be without merit.”

On Monday, China announced taxes of up to 57 percent against U.S. poly-silicon producers. 

CASM said the Chinese government is placing illegal subsidies for its solar energy sector while selling PV and panels in the U.S. at unfairly low prices. CASM also stated that China is processing its claims without the same proceedings that the U.S. government applied in SolarWorld’s cases.

CASM believes that China brought the case to divide U.S. manufacturers against poly-silicon suppliers, punish the U.S. government for being in favor of SolarWorld’s cases, and increase leverage U.S. government.

In 2011, SolarWorld filed a trade case against China PV and panel producers. On Dec. 2, 2011 the U.S. International Trade Commission approved an investigation into charges of illegal Chinese solar module pricing, saying there was reasonable indication that U.S. solar manufacturers have been harmed by the price dumping of the Chinese imports.

According to CASM, U.S. PV manufacturers continue to lay off employees and file bankruptcies while China keeps propping up its own producers. CASM says China has a Five-Year Planning Process, in which China will support subsidies on industry exports, resulting in factory overcapacity,  meaning products would be priced extremely low in the U.S., making access to the U.S. market easier, while keeping its borders closed  to foreign competitors.

China is also submitting state-underwritten solar products to the U.S. that are likely to defect.