The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, a group of seven U.S. solar cell and panel manufacturers who fought to impose trade protections against Chinese-made imports, said a new market report “debunks” arguments from Chinese manufacturers who opposed the U.S. tariffs.
“First, preliminary tariffs did not slow growth of the U.S. solar market in the first half of 2012. Second, they have not hurt downstream employment,” said Gordon Brinser, president of Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America and a founder of CASM.
Specifically, CASM noted a new report by IMS Research found that demand for solar panels in the U.S. market actually grew 120 percent through the end of June, compared with the same period in 2011, and did “not show any significant slowdown resulting from the anti-dumping duties.”
“This statement undercuts claims that dumped Chinese panels helped ignite a boom in the U.S. solar market,” Brinser said. “The fact that demand increased 120 percent – a significantly higher level than in past years, despite significantly reduced Chinese imports over the past three months – shows that there is significant demand for solar, even without dumped and subsidized Chinese products.
"At the same time, the 35 percent increase in installations of solar panels cited in the IMS study shows there has been no negative impact on solar employment in the United States. This result undermines the opposition's prediction of tens of thousands of lost jobs if tariffs were imposed to counter the impact of illegally dumped and subsidized Chinese panels,” he said.
In March, the U.S. Commerce Department announced preliminary countervailing duties ranging of up to 4.73 percent against Chinese solar manufacturers. Preliminary antidumping subsidies of 31 percent to 249.96 percent followed in May. Commerce will announce its final determination in both cases on Oct. 9. The U.S. International Trade Commission will announce its final ruling on the cases on Nov. 7.