Thursday, May 17, 2012

Only People Pay Taxes, Not Solar Panels; Commerce Slaps 31% Tax on U.S. Consumers

On behalf of American consumers, a slightly edited version of this afternoon's NY Times article "U.S. Slaps High Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels" Americans Who Purchase Solar Panels Made in China":

"The United States Commerce Department said Thursday that it has decided to impose tariffs (taxes) of more than 31 percent on Americans who purchase solar panels imported from China, after concluding that Chinese producers had generously “dumped” lowered the prices of solar panels on the American market for to less than it costs to manufacture and ship them, saving Americans millions of dollars. 

The tariffs, which are retroactive to 90 days before the decision, are in addition to anti-subsidy tariffs (taxes) of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent that the department imposed on American consumers in March. Since Chinese panels make up a large portion of the American market, the combined anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs are likely to mean a substantial increase in the price of solar panels here for American consumers

SolarWorld Industries America, which led the coalition special interest cartel of domestic solar manufacturers that filed the solar dumping case, welcomed the department’s ruling. The anti-consumer decision “is a very positive step in the process. It’s also in line with what we expected as a special interest group of domestic producers seeking protection from global competition,” said Ben Santarris, a company spokesman. “We consider this a bellwether case of the government protecting the self-interest of domestic producers seeking protection against foreign competitors. It underscores the importance of manufacturing special interest groups to the U.S. economy Congress seeking to increase political power, votes and support by catering to concentrated special interests."

9 Comments:

At 5/17/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Seriously Prof. Mark you didn't expect the New York Times or a collection of federal bureaucrats have a clue did you?

 
At 5/18/2012 12:48 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

No, but one could hope that Obama would want at least one solar venture to succeed.

 
At 5/18/2012 8:29 AM, Blogger Don said...

juandos,

What makes you think that the bureaucrats are clueless? Seems like they know EXACTLY which side of their bread gets buttered, and it's not the American Consumer's side.

 
At 5/18/2012 8:29 AM, Blogger Don said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/18/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I hope, it will never happen, but I hope that during some press conference or debate, or public forum, whatever, someone raises their hand and asks: "Mr. President, if we want to move away from fossil fuels and towards these renewables, how will making them more expensive accomplish that goal?"

 
At 5/18/2012 12:27 PM, Blogger William Occam said...

I don't know why I am still shocked by the idiocy of our politicians but I am.

What is really galling is that the US Government engages in exactly the same behavior as the Chinese except that they are not very good at it

http://bluecravat.blogspot.com/2012/05/another-case-of-do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do.html

 
At 5/18/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger Oak said...

Good thing there are rebates and tax credits or these things might be downright uneconomic.

To Jon Murphy's question, I would follow up with, "Can you explain how you expect renewables to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, when the cheaper existing sources have not done so?"

 
At 5/18/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Oak,

Good follow-up question. We should start a list for the next "town meeting" or "youtube debate."

 
At 5/18/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M: "I hope, it will never happen, but I hope that during some press conference or debate, or public forum, whatever, someone raises their hand and asks: "Mr. President, if we want to move away from fossil fuels and towards these renewables, how will making them more expensive accomplish that goal?""

Wouldn't that be great? I can't imagine what the answer would be, but the word "jobs" would probably be in it someplace.

 

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