Handing a victory to SolarWorld Industries, which maintains offices in Camarillo, the U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a preliminary ruling that would impose a series of small tariffs on solar panels imported from China.
According to a press release from a coalition of panel makers that supported the SolarWorld dumping case, the March 20 ruling signals the Commerce Department’s intention to impose import duties of 4.7 percent on Trina Solar, 2.9 percent from Suntech and 3.6 percent from all other remaining Chinese manufacturers. “These duties are in line with Commerce’s findings in other countervailing duties cases involving China,” the release said.
The duties will be imposed on imports dating back to late December, the release added.
Studies by the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that Chinese subsidies were worth more than $30 billion, contributing to a string of bankruptcies and plant closings by U.S. producers, including the shutdown of Solyndra, which received more that $500 million in loan guarantees from the U.S.
In the tri-county region, SolarWorld has blamed low-cost imports for the closure of its Camarillo manufacturing plant and the loss of more than 200 jobs. Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries is a unit of SolarWorld AG, a large German panel maker.