Make us your home page
Instagram

U.S. sets new tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department has imposed new import fees on solar panels made in China, finding that the Chinese government is improperly giving subsidies to manufacturers of the panels.

The department said Tuesday it has preliminarily found that Chinese solar panel makers have received government subsidies of 2.9 percent to 4.7 percent. Therefore, the department said tariffs in the same proportions will be charged on Chinese panels imported into the U.S., depending on which company makes them.

U.S. energy officials say China spent more than $30 billion last year subsidizing its solar industry.

The tariff amounts are considered small, but the decision could raise trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Several U.S. solar panel makers had asked the government to impose steep tariffs on Chinese imports, which they struggle against as demand weakens in Europe and other markets.

"Today's announcement affirms what U.S. manufacturers have long known: Chinese manufacturers have received unfair … subsidies," said Steve Ostrenga, CEO of Helios Solar Works in Milwaukee. The company is a member of a group called the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.

On the other side, some U.S. companies argue that low-priced Chinese imports have helped consumers and promote rapid growth of the industry.

The new tariffs are low, making the Commerce Department decision "a relatively positive outcome for the U.S. solar industry and its 100,000 employees," said Jigar Shah, president of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy. "However, tariffs large or small will hurt American jobs and prolong our world's reliance on fossil fuels. Fortunately, this decision will not significantly raise solar prices in the United States."

Members of the coalition include California-based SunEdison, Recurrent Energy, SolarCity and Westinghouse Solar, as well as China-based Suntech Power Holdings Co.

The U.S. manufacturers' complaints have been amplified by controversy surrounding Solyndra, a California-based solar panel maker that filed for bankruptcy after winning a $500 million loan from the Obama administration.

Solyndra's failure prompted a lengthy review by congressional Republicans critical of Obama's green energy policies. Solyndra has cited Chinese competition as a key reason for its failure.

U.S. sets new tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports 03/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  2. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  3. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  5. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]