The International Trade Office (ITC) has ruled unanimously, in a preliminary holding, that China's exports of solar panels are in violation of U.S. and international anti-dumping and related trade laws.
The final holding is unlikely to conflict with the present holding.
The remedies for the violation will likely be an increased tariff. We expect a holding on the preliminary remedies by mid-January of next year.
The complainant, the Bonn-headquartered Solar World AG, claims that China is giving producers of solar panels in China low-cost land leases, low-interest loans, and favorable tax treatment. The U.S. provides similar benefits, but at a much lower level than that provided by China.
We need to question why we even care that China is subsidizing an industry that we need and that most politicians support.
Sure we are not on a level playing field with China in this industry because of Chinese government subsidies, but maybe this is an industry that we need the support of the Chinese taxpayer in order for the price of panels to reach a level that leads to widespread usage.
Maybe without the support the industry would collapse.
What do you think?