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USA Solar Group comes up with Weird Plan to Stop US-China Solar Trade War

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The USA China scenario

USA and China have been fighting a big solar trade war since last year, even though the solar product trade continues briskly between the two countries. The Chinese solar industry has virtually captured the entire solar industry in the last 6 years through massive government support which has enabled the Chinese solar industry to massively scale up. China based solar companies such as Jinko Solar, Yingli and others now enjoy massive cost advantages over all other players. USA last year imposed CVD and AD on imports of Chinese solar cells. However, these duties have failed to prevent the decimation of the US solar manufacturers. Chinese companies such as Renesola, Trina and Jinko have regularly managed to win huge contracts in USA due to their low cost and high quality products. This year China retaliated to the solar panel duties by imposing its own 50% plus duties on imports of polysilicon. Note China imports a large portion of this solar raw material from USA and Europe.

The Plan

The Solar Energy Industries Association has always opposed the solar duties on imports of Chinese solar panels as its members consist mainly of solar installers and integrators. These members benefit from lower priced solar panels. This group is now trying to stop this war by presenting an alternative to the US government. It involves setting up of a multi-million dollar fund to help US manufacturers. This fund will be funded by the Chinese companies who are paying a lot of extra money to buy non-Chinese solar cells to avoid US duties. The Fund will help US companies to scale up their manufacturing and remove the main bone of contention.

Read on GWI List of USA Solar Installers/System Integrators/EPC Companies. 

I think that this plan makes little sense as Chinese companies will find little advantage in funding US competitors. Besides all Chinese companies are making losses and are badly capital constrained. How will they find money to set up a fund which has little economic value for them. Also it might set a bad precedence for other Chinese industries such as tyres, steel, wind turbines etc. which are facing similar duties in the USA.

A solar-energy group is offering a plan to resolve a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, saying import duties currently in place are crippling the industry in both nations. The U.S. industry plan would abolish the U.S. duties on solar cells from China, as well as China’s tariffs on U.S.-made polysilicon. Instead, China’s solar-energy companies would establish a fund in the U.S. that American solar-cell manufacturers could draw from to help them “scale-up,” Smirnow said. While the size of the fund would be negotiated based on market estimates, it would probably be in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next three years, he said.

Read more at Bloomberg.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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