The U.S. Department of Commerce announced this week that it will impose tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels and cells. The Hillsboro-based branch of German energy company SolarWorld had been pushing for these tarrifs for months.
SolarWorld says that Chinese companies are illegally subsidizing solar products and “dumping” them at below market value in the U.S., making it difficult for non-Chinese companies to compete.
Analysts say the tariffs are unlikely to have too great of an economic effect, but they could escalate tensions between the U.S. and China. The tariffs range between 2.9 and 4.73 percent. Given that Chinese solar products are around ten percent cheaper than items made elsewhere, the Chinese products are still expected to have an market advantage.
The Commerce Department is expected to decide whether to impose further tariffs on Chinese solar products in May.
- Anthony Kim: Solar analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance