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Subsidy Wars: China May Retaliate Against US Green Lobby

As the sixth annual SNEC 2012 PV Power Expo is currently being held in Shanghai, China, industry sources have indicated that there is a possibility that the China government will initiate an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation against US- and South Korea-based solar firms as a counter act to the investigation against China solar firms by the US government.

The final verdict of the US investigation against China-based solar firms is scheduled to be announced on May 17, 2012.

The preliminary results of the investigation are that an additional tariff of less than 5% will be levied on China-made solar products. Despite the relatively low rate, some China-based solar firms have been unhappy about the investigation because the firms believe the US government subsidizes domestic solar firms.

Solar firms in China indicated that if the final verdict is to impose a tariff rate over 20%, some China-based firms will issue OEM orders to firms in other countries. This will increase production costs of solar products and will be reflected in installation costs in the US market.

According to China-based media reports, China imported 64,600 tons on polysilicon in 2011, an on-year increase of 36%. In particular, imports from South Korea were 21,000 tons, an increase of 89.47% on year. Imports from the US reached 17,000 tons.

Digi Times, 17 May 2012