China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

Galtero Lara
Agosto 17, 2018

China said it complained about raising US tariffs on solar panels to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, adding to the escalating conflicts with US President Donald Trump on trade and technology.

A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that Trump's subsidy policy gives the USA renewable energy industry an unfair competitive advantage and damages the rights and interests of Chinese sector players.

The action, however, is not expected to have an immediate impact on China's major solar manufacturers, as their exposure to US markets was reduced after earlier trade disputes. The new round of tariffs marked the completion of Trump's threat to impose $50 billion of import taxes on Chinese goods, the first $34 billion of which went into effect on July 6.

"The solar problem has existed for years". It said on May 14 it had issued a request to the WTO for a dispute settlement process with Washington.

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On July 6, US tariffs on 34 billion dollars of Chinese goods came into force, and China responded by enacting tariffs on 34 billion dollars of goods it buys from the United States.

This year, its firms are facing a new wave of closures after the country's state planning agency announced plans to cap new capacity at just 30 GW this year, down from a record 53 GW in 2017.

From January to May, exports of solar products also surged 21 per cent year-on-year.

On March 23, the United States implemented additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, exempting Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico. That led to complaints it was undermining the global trade body.

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