Hopes on solar anti-dumping duty removal dashed by ITC decision


TAIPEI–Hopes that anti-dumping tariffs Taiwanese solar product exporters face would be removed have been dashed by a final decision made by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), which has ruled that exports from Taiwan have caused injury to the industry in the United States.

The USITC ruling gives the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) a green light to issue anti-dumping orders to impose anti-dumping tariffs on Taiwanese solar cell firms amid accusations that they have been selling their products at unfairly low prices in the U.S. market.

The same ITC ruling also found that Chinese solar cell exports have caused harm to the U.S industry by not only dumping products in the U.S. market but also taking advantage of unfair subsidies from the Chinese government.

TrendForce Corp. (����), a Taipei-based market information advisory firm, said that the ITC ruling is expected to have an adverse impact on the local solar energy industry, which will make Taiwan’s solar cells more expensive and hurt the local sector’s competitive edge against exporters from other countries.

In a final ruling issued by the International Trade Administration (ITA) under the U.S. DOC in December, the agency said it has decided to impose an anti-dumping tariff ranging between 11.45 percent and 27.55 percent on Taiwanese exporters, with the average supplier to face a 19.50 percent tariff.

The December ruling was more lenient than a preliminary ruling issue in July in which the DOC decided to impose anti-dumping tariffs ranging between 20.86 percent and 27.59 percent.

As for individual companies, solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc. (�Z�}) saw its anti-dumping tariff fall to 11.45 percent from 20.86 percent imposed in the preliminary ruling.

Encouraged by the December ruling, Taiwan’s solar energy industry had been gearing up to persuade the ITC that Taiwanese firms have not done anything to harm U.S. solar energy businesses, in the hope that the ITC would issue a decision in favor of them and remove the anti-dumping tariffs.

However, the ITC ruling went against the Taiwanese firms’ wishes.

Market analysts said the U.S. is the fifth-largest solar energy market in the world, accounting for 20-30 percent of Taiwan’s total solar panel exports.

TrendForce said that due to the anti-dumping tariffs, foreign buyers could shift their orders to other countries, which will affect Taiwanese firms’ shipments.

The advisory firm said it is possible for the local solar energy sector to speed up the pace of relocating its production lines away from Taiwan to avoid the U.S. anti-dumping financial penalties.