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Rumor Has it That Japan to Join in the Solar Trade War Against China

published: 2014-03-07 18:27

It said that Australia may launch an anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on PV products imported from China, making it the third country/region which joins into the solar trade war. Today, it emerges a new hearsay that Japan is also considering to impose extra tariffs on PV products dumped from China, which suggests that the trade war could explode in Asia Pacific Zone.

To protect local PV industry, USA has imposed extra tariffs on some PV cells and modules made in China since 2012, and the EU has set import limitations since 2013. This year, some Taiwanese manufacturers are also involved in the new phase of anti-dumping investigation launched by the U.S. DoC. Moreover, the solar trade war seems to become broader as India has become a new target to be investigated. Few days ago, a Chinese report suggested that Australia may start investigating Chinese PV products on the dumping and subsidies issue. It’s also rumored amidst Taiwanese PV manufacturers that Japan is thinking of probing for the same reason.

Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend, mentions the message that Japan would start the anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on Chinese PV products imported into the country. “At the moment, it’s still not sure whether the petition is raised by PV makers or the Japanese government,” added Hsu.

“Most Japanese PV manufacturers focus more on PV system development and investment instead of production,” explains Hsu, adding that Kyocera, Sharp, Sanyo and Solar Frontier, a manufacturer which produces CIGS cells, are some of the exceptions. “Japanese makers heavily rely upon import of modules. Adding the fact that its domestic market remains strong, the anti-dumping and countervailing duties are not likely to be established.”

Hsu also demonstrates the limited impact on Taiwanese PV industry even if both of Australia’a and Japan’s extra tariffs were imposed: “On one hand, most Taiwanese PV products exported to Japan are cells rather than module; on the other hand, the volume of PV products exported from Taiwan to Australia is too small to cause severe damage to both countries.” Furthermore, Taiwanese manufacturers’ module capacities are not strong enough for them to make a huge profit by orders shifted from China due to the anti-dumping and countervailing duties (if the messages were true and cases filed).

However, Hsu points out the possibility of commercial strategies. Under the psychological expectations to the potential tariffs, PV buyers could convince providers of reducing the price. At the present, henceforth, USA, the EU and China are the primary nations in the solar trade war.

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