28 August 2012 / The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) has weighed in on a recent report from IMS Research that predicted U.S. solar demand this year would reach almost 4.3 GW. According to the CASM, the report proves that the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) tariffs on Chinese modules (which were applied in response to the CASM's petition last fall) are not slowing down the solar market.
"The new report by IMS Research effectively debunks two of the arguments made by Chinese solar manufacturers and their allies regarding the potential impact of tariffs on the U.S. solar market," says Gordon Brinser, president of Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America Inc. "First, preliminary tariffs did not slow growth of the U.S. solar market in the first half of 2012. Second, they have not had hurt downstream employment."
According to Brinser, a portion of the report stating that PV demand did "not show any significant slowdown resulting from the anti-dumping duties" proves that claims that dumped Chinese panels fueled the U.S. solar boom are false.
"At the same time, the 35 percent increase in installations of solar panels cited in the IMS study shows there has been no negative impact on solar employment in the United States," Brinser additionally claims. "This result undermines the opposition's prediction of tens of thousands of lost jobs if tariffs were imposed to counter the impact of illegally dumped and subsidized Chinese panels."
In March, the DOC announced preliminary countervailing duties of up to 4.73% against Chinese solar manufacturers in response to government subsidies. Preliminary antidumping subsidies of 31% to 249.96% followed in May.
The DOC will announce its final determination in both cases on Oct. 9. The International Trade Commission will announce its final ruling on the cases on Nov. 7.