Sunday, May 27, 2012

China’s Solar Industry Should Be Held Accountable For Breaking Trade Laws

A simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and China will likely come to a head tomorrow when the U.S. Department of Commerce issues its determination on alleged trade violations by Chinese solar manufacturers. Surprisingly, the U.S. solar industry is not in agreement on the need to hold the Chinese accountable. It should be.

On one side are those who claim China has been illegally subsidizing and dumping its solar products in the U.S. market, forcing many American manufacturers into bankruptcy. These companies, mostly manufacturers of solar panels and related products, claim Chinese solar companies have benefited from government largesse in the form of free land and facilities, electricity and water, and low- or no-cost loans that keep prices for Chinese-made solar products artificially low. In addition, they claim these Chinese companies are illegally “dumping” their cheap solar panels into the American market, making it nearly impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete.

On the other side are those, mostly solar installers, who have benefited from the ability to buy low-cost solar panels, which they claim has allowed them to do solar installations at a lower cost and therefore expand the use of solar power in America. Read More