Bernd Janzen Comments on U.S./China Solar Dispute

A dumping probe by the International Trade Commission (ITC) of Chinese solar products has sparked a new skirmish within the U.S. solar industry, according to a Law360 article in which Akin Gump international trade partner Bernd Janzen is quoted.

The ITC said earlier this month it was launching an investigation following a complaint by SolarWorld AG that Chinese solar panel makers were avoiding U.S. duties by using solar cells manufactured in a third country, Taiwan. Janzen says this will leave many importers “including those whose products are really on the margins” facing uncertainty since it could eventually drive up the cost of business for large segments of the U.S. solar industry.

The article reports that additional duties could halt efforts to bring solar power up to “grid parity,” where the price for solar power is comparable to that for traditional-source power. Janzen notes that government incentives to achieve parity sends mixed signals and that, while “some federal entities [are] encouraging more use of solar power,” others are “making imports of these products more expensive.” Janzen says “this case is one of those that is crying out for a big settlement push, just because the volume of trade is huge, there are so many commercial actors that are impacted by this and there are mixed policy signals.”

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