Taiwan has resorted to the WTO agreement on safeguards in seeking to consultation with India on the latter's protective tariff on PV cells, according to Indian media.
In order to protect the local PV industry, India previously levied two-year protective tariff on China- and Malaysia-made PV cells, at 25% prior to July 2019 before dropping to 20% in the first half and 15% in the second half of the second year. On strong opposition of local firms, the Indian government, though, suspended the tariff on Aug. 13.
China has been India's PV power supplier, boasting 88.2% market share in 2017, followed by Malaysia with 5.89%. India has been the largest overseas outlet of China-made PV cells, absorbing 31% of the export of such products. The protective tariff may block India's objective raising its accumulated PV power capacity to 100 GW by 2022.
Taiwan has been India's third largest PV supplier, exporting near US$100 million worth of PV power products in 2017, 2.23% of the total import. It has been a target of India's protective tariff on PV products, as it is not a developing country.
Taiwan has reportedly started seeking consultation with the Indian government on the protective tariff, citing WTO agreement on safeguards, following Malaysia which took the step in late August.
Taiwan's export to India consists mainly of high-tier PV cells, which will be affected significantly by the protective tariff, unlike Taiwan-made PV modules whose export to India is quite limited, due to their higher specifications and prices.
Consultation on safeguard measures is meant for mutual understanding via exchange of opinions but doesn't belong to the WTO mechanism for resolution of disputes.
EneryTrend notes that given relatively inferior quality of India-made PV products, the protective tariff will put a damper on the demand of the Indian market in the second half, as a result of which demand will reach only 8.5-9.6 GW for entire 2018.
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(First photo courtesy of Intel Free Press via FlickrCC BY 2.0, written by Daisy Chuang)