Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

America set to tax Chinese solar panels

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

With U.S. solar usage at an all-time high, heavily discounted solar hardware from China has become a contentious issue. As we recently reported, a trade complaint made by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing hoped to offset any financial advantages those Chinese companies might enjoy.

It was announced this week that after a review, the U.S. Commerce Department will indeed tax Chinese solar panels coming into America, at a rate ranging from 2.9 to 4.73 percent.

"Today's announcement affirms what U.S. manufacturers have long known: Chinese manufacturers have received unfair ... subsidies," said Steve Ostrenga, the CEO of Helios Solar Works (which is a part of the aforementioned coalition) on

As reported by the L.A. Times, the rate is not nearly as high as many had hoped, but there is a chance for much stiffer penalties in May if it’s found that Chinese suppliers had been glutting the American market with solar panels at below-cost prices.