China files WTO complaint against US solar import tariffs

Trina Solar module. Owner: Mark Wolff

August 15 (Renewables Now) - China officially filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Tuesday, claiming that the solar import tariffs imposed by the US and its subsidies for local products harm China’s legitimate rights and interests and clash with WTO rules.

US President Donald Trump approved in January recommendations to impose a safeguard tariff on solar imports of 30% that will be reduced to 25% in the second year, 20% in the third, and 15% in the fourth. In addition to those tariffs, China is dissatisfied with the subsidies the US provides to locally-made photovoltaics.

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that Trump's subsidy policy gives the US renewable energy industry an unfair competitive advantage and damages the rights and interests of Chinese sector players. In order to protect its trade interests, China has deemed necessary to resort to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

The statement urges the US to take concrete actions in line with the WTO rules and drop the “wrong practices” so that normal trade can be restored.

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