U.S. Solar Firms Hurt by Chinese Imports.

8 Dec 2011

Last week a federal trade panel found that Chinese imports harm or threaten to harm the U.S. solar panel industry (click here for The Huffington Post article).  The panel’s finding means that a complaint by U.S. solar companies in the U.S. International Trade Commission can continue and further investigation will result.  The complaint asks for tough trade penalties on Chinese solar imports alleging that Chinese competitors were “dumping” solar products on global markets to depress prices.  According to the article, U.S. energy officials claim China spent more than $30 billion last year to subsidize its solar industry.

The case has caused a split in the U.S. solar industry.  On one hand, there is no denying that Chinese imports have lowered prices for solar panels, helping consumers and promoting rapid growth of the industry.  On the other hand, as I blogged about last month (MI Solar Company Struggles To Hang On), a number of U.S. solar manufacturers, like Michigan’s own United Solar, are laying off workers and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

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