ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 18th, 2012 at 9:22 am

US To Impose Tarriffs On Chinese Subsidized Solar Panels

» by in: China

It is about time that someone has taken action to stop the Chinese from exporting government subsidized products to the US:

The Obama administration called Thursday for hefty tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels and cells, arguing China has been illegally “dumping” under-priced products on the U.S. market.

The preliminary ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce seeks tariffs ranging from 31% to 250% on solar products imported from China. A final decision is expected later this year.

The trade case has divided the U.S. solar industry. Some manufacturers say China’s subsidies have made it difficult for them to compete, causing several bankruptcies such as Solyndra’s. Other U.S. solar companies say tariffs could hike solar panel prices, inflame trade tensions and stunt the industry’s growth.

Commerce’s ruling “is a bellwether decision,” Steve Ostrenga, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Helios Solar Works, said in a statement. “It underscores the importance of domestic manufacturing to the U.S. economy and will help determine whether the country will be a global competitor in clean technologies or outsource them China. It is also critically important for thousands of U.S. workers.”

Other U.S. solar companies said they would push for much lower tariffs,. They argue most solar-industry jobs are in sales, marketing, design, installation, engineering and maintenance of solar projects and higher solar prices could result in layoffs.  [Green House]

You can read more at the link but I suspect this may just be once again election year politics because the final decision for the tariffs does not happen until November after the US Presidential election.  I will be surprised if we ever see the 31% tariffs being proposed by the Commerce Department.

Tags: , , ,
  • tbonetylr
    9:19 am on May 18th, 2012 1

    What about tariffs on Korea Inc.?

  • kushibo
    10:04 am on May 18th, 2012 2

    tbonetylr, there is a specific definition to “dumping” as an economic practice. Simply selling something for a cheaper price or being subsidized by the government (e.g., Airbus in Europe) does not qualify. And selling for a cheaper price abroad than at home doesn’t qualify either.

    What specific South Korean goods are being illegally dumped in the United States?

  • kushibo
    10:11 am on May 18th, 2012 3

    And I’m not asking that question rhetorically or with any hostile intent. If there are some such goods, I’d like to read up on it and put it in my proverbial toolbox and use later, most likely with/against South Korean anti-free traders.

    Both countries benefit from “free trade,” though there are some losers and some unfair players on both sides that we need to watch out for.

    At the same time, though, the US needs to step up its game like its European, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, etc., competitors do and occasionally predict (but not pick) winners in the global fight.

    Solyndra got a lot of press but largely by people who only saw value in it as a potential hammer against Obama. Solyndra has a technology (solar panels that can be form fit instead of requiring a flat surface) that was a breakthrough, but it got killed by the very thing that this article is talking about: China unfairly undercutting the competition in order to kill it. Perhaps with these tariffs, Solyndra or whoever inherited their technology can have a fighting chance.

  • Thomas Lee
    10:58 am on May 18th, 2012 4

    Kushibo, I agree with you. I just find it frustrating that they decided to do this AFTER leading edge companies fail and cost the tax payers millions (billions). Kinda like shutting the barn door after the cows are loose.

  • Jinro Dukkohbi
    4:57 pm on May 18th, 2012 5

    #3 I can remember Hyundai in the 90s selling the Sonata for close to $30k here while having big advertising campaigns in the US selling them for $12k, and this was long before they opened any manufacturing plants in the US, such as they have now. I always wondered why everyone turned a blind eye. And of course, there is the whole brouhaha going on now with Whirlpool vs. LG & Samsung over washing machines and refrigerators, but in most of these cases, it’s probably too little too late. IMO, between unions with unreasonable demands and some greedy corporate execs and their golden parachutes, the US labor market has no hope of controlling skyrocketing costs and being a serious world player once again…

  • Teadrinker
    5:18 pm on May 18th, 2012 6


    Imagine that, Kushibo doesn’t know everything after all.

  • kushibo
    5:20 pm on May 18th, 2012 7

    Jinro Dukkohbi, which cars and which models and what year?

    Before I take a 2.5-fold markup at face value, I’d like to make sure that we’re not doing an apples-and-oranges comparison, like comparing a base model at $12K with a fully loaded model at $30K. I’d also like to make sure that we’re not actually comparing $12K with 30 million won. I’d also like to make sure we’re calculating the hefty taxes and fees levied on anything Sonata-class or bigger back then, which has nothing to do with dumping.

    I have heard the claims of Whirpool versus LG, but I’m not convinced either way, since Black Friday discounts that are routine across the board at that time of year seem to be taken as a regular practice of dumping.

    It sounds a bit like a company that had a near monopoly (“Whirlpool said it believes it accounts for 95% of all large residential washers made in the U.S.”) in the face of competent competition (“LG and Samsung have done well in the U.S. by offering high-quality appliances with innovative designs at ‘very aggressive’ prices, Mr. MacGregor said, adding that their sales have mainly been of pricier models with energy-saving features.”). Still, it’s a case to watch out for.

    But then you turn and blame it on unreasonable unions and greedy corporate execs. That’s hardly Samsung’s and LG’s fault. That’s a problem that Corporate America needs to fix on its own. (In Japan and Korea, execs make two to four times that of low-level employees, not hundreds of times more.)

  • Tom
    6:17 pm on May 18th, 2012 8

    The usual US apologists have come crawling out of the rocks.

    The US charges against LG and Samsung for household goods were thrown out by the International Trade Court. And before the usual US apologists claim the Koreans bought the court out, the judges and the court were American.

  • Tom
    6:21 pm on May 18th, 2012 9

    This is why Korea shouldn’t have signed the FTA with these people. As they have shown this in the auto industry, it’s the American mentality to sue the competitors and shut them down through the use of their courts, instead of competing fairly. Big cry babies they are.

  • Seoul Guy
    6:33 pm on May 18th, 2012 10

    :lol: Tom, you are either an idiot or a NK or Chinko spy wannabe.

  • Seoul Guy
    6:40 pm on May 18th, 2012 11

    To all foreigners reading on this board, South Korea was given a most favored trading nation by the U.S. Government until SK acquired economic competitiveness. The US policy was mainly to counter. Communist Bloc during the Cold War. it is not because US Government either stupid or philanthropic. Koreans got really good by the time US Goverment let the favored nation status expire for South Koreans. We than the US but on a way if it weren’t for the Communists, US Government wouldn’t have given South Koreans so much for nothing. Anyway, we appreciate Uncle

  • MTB Rider
    5:56 am on May 19th, 2012 12

    Hilarious, seeing Tom talking about apologists! That’s his primary mission for China.

    So, Tom? You ever going to sound off on the North Koreans kidnapping Chinese fishermen? What does a troll do when both his teams are in the wrong? Easy, he ducks the issue completely! :razz:

  • Lemmy
    6:16 pm on May 19th, 2012 13


  • Lemmy
    6:31 pm on May 19th, 2012 14

    Yesterday, I paid 6000 won for 3 locally grown apples. I didn’t know they will soon be sold in the USA as Chinese Solar Panels.

  • Lemmy
    6:38 pm on May 19th, 2012 15

    Even with the tariffs, won’t China still possess the ability to flood the market with solar panels especially if you add their ability to undervalue their currency? There has to be something missing here.

  • Seoul Guy
    4:53 am on May 20th, 2012 16

    #15, what are you saying.

  • Lemmy
    7:38 am on May 20th, 2012 17

    For sake of argument, lets say DoC sets the tariff for imported solar panels at 15% and lets say the claimed worth of the solar panels is $1,000.00. That would make the total cost of importing the panel at $1,150.00. The solar panel manufacturing company, backed by the Chinese Gov’t, offsets the tariff by issuing a credit in some way shape or form of $150.00 or even more per panel. The importing company still charges as much as they can get for the panel -which they say includes the import tariff- and they charge $1,150.00 plus their mark-up.

    (China then imposes tariffs on imported products from the USA (if they import anything) and causes US companies to lose money)

    So if the company can immediately profit $300.00 ($150.00 mark up for import tariff + $150.00 kick-back) why on earth would they buy a solar panel built in America where they lose $300.00 immediately on purchase?

  • Lazy_Contractor
    8:54 pm on May 20th, 2012 18

    Should CHINA take action against the USA for our highly government subsidized CORN?

    (Though I think they do take action against our cheap corn.)

    This ends up hurting the consumers. Maybe for once we should take a page from the Chinese playbook and subsidize our own alternative energy areas? I’m tired of paying Mohammed for his blood oil.


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

Bad Behavior has blocked 57114 access attempts in the last 7 days.