S Korea considering WTO complaint against US solar tariff proposals - report
Author: University of Salford Press Office.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy may turn to the World Trade Organization (WTO) with a complaint against the planned solar panel import restrictions in the US, Reuters reports.
The notification comes a few days after the US International Trade Commission (USITC) recommended certain restrictions on foreign imports of photovoltaic (PV) equipment and proposed tariffs as high as 35% and quotas in the section 201 case. The suggestions will be sent to President Donald Trump for a final decision on the protective measures that will be taken by January 12.
The Korean ministry has said it will consider the possibility of taking the case to the WTO after the ITC publishes the report that will be presented to President Trump. The deadline for sending the detailed report is November 13.
Among the most stringent rates proposed by the ITC commissioners are those by chairman Rhonda Schmidtlein, envisaging an ad valorem tariff on CSPV modules starting at 35% and a tariff-rate quota of just 0.5 GW for solar cells, with imports within the quota to be subject to a 10% tariff, while those exceeding the quota will be facing a 30% tariff. ITC’s determination was made following a Section 201 petition filed by Suniva Inc in April, which sought relief against solar imports from all geographic sources.
According to an unnamed trade ministry official quoted by Reuters, South Korea’s top solar module maker Hanwha Q Cells Co Ltd (NASDAQ:HQCL) shipped USD 1.3 billion (EUR 1.1bn) worth of PV cells and modules to the US in 2016, seizing 15.6% share of the US solar market.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.