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Tariffs on solar panels 'will harm US industry' (2)

By Richard Fu (Shanghai Daily)

08:26, March 22, 2012

Government subsidies are never the key competitive edge for Chinese solar panels, the chamber said. Their competitiveness lay in more advanced technologies, large-scale production, strong management and forward-looking strategies.

However, the US anti-subsidy tariffs were smaller than expected and triggered a rally among Chinese solar stocks, with Suntech Power Holdings, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy Holding each soaring more than 10 percent in New York. Some American industry executives had expected duty of up to 10 percent.

Xinhua news agency said the smaller than expected tariffs were the result of compromise, but the US had to do more to keep bilateral trade ties from derailing.

The ruling on tariffs comes ahead of one in May when the US commerce department is due to decide whether China is dumping panels at prices below cost.

SolarWorld has asked for 100 percent duty to counter alleged dumping, which the Chinese industry has denied.

Miao Liansheng, chairman and CEO of Yingli Green Energy, said: "The important thing to remember is that tariffs are bad for the entire solar industry. We will continue to support the US as an important solar market, and believe that global trade and fair competition will persevere."

Andrew Beebe, Suntech Power Holding's chief commercial officer, said: "Unilateral trade barriers, large or small, will further delay our transition away from fossil fuels at a time when the majority of Americans demand cleaner and more secure energy such as solar."

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