The Commerce Department on Wednesday issued its final ruling in a case charging Chinese solar-panel firms with illegal trade practices, slapping Chinese producers with hefty countervailing, or anti-subsidy, tariffs from 14.78 to 15.97 percent and anti-dumping tariffs from 18.32 to 250 percent.
The anti-subsidy tariffs represent a significant increase from preliminary duties announced in March ranging from 2.9 to 4.73 percent. The anti-dumping tariffs, however, remained largely the same as preliminary determinations issued in late May, which ranged from 31 to 250 percent. The anti-dumping duties went down for Chinese solar firm Trina Solar and were specified at 25.96 percent for other companies that requested individual duty determinations.
Although Commerce finalized the tariffs, it did not expand the scope of the duties to include products manufactured in other countries but made with Chinese materials. Petitioners in the case, which included domestic manufacturers, as well as several Democratic lawmakers had been hoping that Commerce would close what they call a "loophole" for Chinese solar firms. In late September, eight Democratic senators and representatives led by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., asked the Commerce Department to expand the scope of its duties, writing that the purpose of the trade enforcement laws "will be thwarted if foreign producers can simply outsource a small part of their production in third countries to avoid duties."