It has been widely reported for many years that China has been illegally subsidizing it’s solar panels in violation of international trade agreements. Every country subsidizes investment in some form or fashion, but it appears that the Commerce department is set to rule that Chinese actions were indeed illegal acts and not keeping with promises made in those trade agreements. The concern of course is that this will kill an entire industry for jobs in America…and now President Obama is expected to fight back through protectionist measures.
Reuters has the details:
Analysts expect 20 to 30 percent anti-subsidy duties on the imports, which soared to an estimated $2.8 billion in 2011 from about $1.2 billion in 2010. The punitive tariff, if it comes, is expected to take effect immediately. Chinese companies will be reimbursed if the decision is reversed later this year.
U.S. producers say the Chinese companies receive a long list of subsidies, including below-market loans from China’s state-owned banks and subsidized raw materials, such as polysilicon, that greatly reduce their operating costs and helped Chinese firms grow their share of the U.S. market to nearly 40 percent from 11 percent in 2009.
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