The Commerce Department slaps stiff tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels, imposing 31 percent charges on the products of big Chinese manufacturers.

Red_X_copyThe Commerce Department has slapped stiff tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels, imposing 31 percent charges on the products of big Chinese manufacturers like Suntech and Trina. The duties will be retroactive for 90 days.

The preliminary import duties were the result of a dumping case brought by a group led by SolarWorld, the U.S. subsidiary of a German company. The group said Chinese solar panel makers had violated World Trade Organization rules, using unfair cost advantages and selling panels in the United States at below-cost prices to drive U.S. manufacturers out of business. The duties will be reviewed again at the end of the year.

the case has divided the solar industry in the United States. U.S. makers of solar manufacturing equipment and U.S. firms that install solar panels said import duties would raise solar costs in the United States, shrink the U.S. market and hurt U.S. jobs. About half of the solar panels installed in the United States last year were made in China.

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Source: Steven Mufson | The Washingtoin Post