US imposes solar duties on China because of subsidies

"There is a fair amount of China-bashing taking place," says William Hess of China Analytics

The US has imposed duties on Chinese solar panel manufacturers after it said that they received unfair subsidies.

Chinese exporters into the US - including Suntech - will now face customs tariffs of between 2.9% and 4.73%, the Commerce Department said.

In 2011, imports of solar cells from China into the US were valued at $3.1bn (£1.96bn), it added.

The price of solar panels dropped more than 30% last year, mainly linked to cheaper panels made in China.

"Countervailable subsidies are financial assistance from foreign governments that benefit the production of goods from foreign companies," the Commerce Department said.

China's Suntech, the world's largest producer of solar panels, will now face duties of 2.9% to offset what the US said is its subsidy from the Chinese government.

Another firm, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, will receive duties of 4.73%.

All others face duties of 3.61%.

US customs will collect deposits equivalent to these amounts now and the Commerce Department will make a final ruling in June.

The US will also rule on whether China's solar panel output is violating its anti-dumping rules on 17 May.

Chinese firms have said that they are not the only ones that receive government help - for example, the US has subsidies to encourage people to install solar panels.

China has already said it will launch its own investigation into US government support for renewable energy.

More on This Story

Business of Energy

More Business stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit

  • Payton McKinnonKilling heat

    Why so many American children die in hot cars

  • Vice-President Joe Biden.Joe v Hillary

    What needs to happen for Biden to be the next president

  • USA fanSoccer punch

    Has the US finally fallen in love with the beautiful game? BBC Sport

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city


  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.