Beijing has been held responsible by a federal trade panel in the US of harming the US solar industry. The decision is a penultimate action before tariffs are officially imposed on Chinese solar companies.

The Boston Globe reports that the US International Trade Commission voted unanimously that Chinese companies have materially injured US manufacturers, affirming its 2011 vote that launched a yearlong inquiry into low-cost Chinese products that US manufacturers blame for putting them on the brink of collapse.

China-US trade war

The way is now clear for imposition of tariffs of up to 250 per cent, coupled with anti-subsidy fees, on Chinese solar products for duration of five years.

US energy officials said China had subsidized its industry to the tune of $30bn in 2010 and a year later more that $3.1bn in Chinese solar panels were imported by the US.

US manufacturers fear, however that a loophole in the law could enable Chinese firms to get around the decision. The potential loophole allows Chinese companies that outsource a part of the production process to other countries to circumvent punitive tariffs.

The ITC declined to make the penalties retroactive and an appeal is still possible to the US Court of International Trade in New York. China’s government could also potentially appeal the case to the World Trade Organization.
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