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US solar tariffs violate trade rules - WTO complaint

Power News - Published on Fri, 17 Aug 2018

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REUTERS reported that China's commerce ministry said that a US decision to subsidise renewable energy firms and impose tariffs on imported products has seriously distorted the global market and harmed China's interests, firing the latest shot in a broader trade conflict. The ministry said on its website said that China has lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to help determine the legality of the US policies, saying they not only harm China's rights but also undermine the WTO's authority.

Washington announced in January that it was imposing what it called safeguard tariffs over four years with a 30 percent tariff in the first year reduced gradually to 15% in year four.

The commerce ministry statement said that "As the U.S. violations have severely distorted the global market for products like photovoltaics and seriously damaged China's trade interests, China's use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a necessary measure to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and maintain multilateral trade rules.”

The move is not expected to have an immediate impact on China's major solar manufacturers, including GCL, Jinko Solar and Canadian Solar, as their exposure to US markets was reduced after earlier trade disputes.

One Chinese executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that US solar tariffs were a "sideshow" and had little effect on Chinese business.

Mr Peng Peng, a researcher with the China Renewable Energy Industry Association described the dispute as "a microcosm of the big trade spat". He said that "The solar problem has existed for years. I think China chose to bring it up in order to keep up the rhythm of the trade dispute.”

The United States has accused China of using subsidies and bulk manufacturing capacity to drive down prices and put U.S. competitors out of business in a range of sectors.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 17 Aug 2018
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