Nov 2, 2011

Solar Panel Trade Wars

We always thought that a true military action between the USA and the PRC(China) would be due to an invasion of Taiwan by the PRC or action in the disputed waters surrounding China's neighbors. Remember the US and Chinese planes that touched over Hainan island early in the reign of GW Bush.

Well we are delighted to say that it appears that the real war may be a trade war over the manufacture of solar panels. 

 from Reuters courtesy of  Christoph Steitz and Leonora Walet
 Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:48pm EDT we find

German group SolarWorld said on Thursday it was working on steps to curb alleged price dumping by Chinese rivals in Europe.
 
This comes less than a day after its U.S. unit led a group of seven U.S. solar companies in urging the U.S. government to slap anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made solar energy products.
They charged that Chinese producers can aggressively undercut U.S. prices because they receive cash grants and other subsidies in China, destroying thousands of American jobs.......

Western solar companies have been at odds with their Chinese counterparts for years, alleging they receive lavish credit lines to offer modules at cheaper prices, while European players struggle to refinance........

Chinese solar companies such as Suntech, Yingli and JA Solar have in the past secured generous loans via the China Development Bank (CDB).

from NY Times  courtesy of Keith Bradsher we find


 The trade case, filed at the Commerce Department, seeks tariffs of more than 100 percent of the wholesale price of solar panels from China, which shipped $1.6 billion of the panels to the United States in the first eight months of this year....

Whatever the partisan positioning, though, the trade case will procedurally begin above the political fray. It will follow a quasi-judicial path at the Commerce Department and a related American agency, the International Trade Commission, that is intended to operate without partisan influence.

The global traveling columnist for the NY Times Tom Friedman feels that the tariffs although probably needed are unreasonable for a fragile US and world economy.
Here's a link to his column Thursday

 We think these actions are apropos of a relationship between China and the US which will be meted out through ups and downs over the next few decades at least

Do you own an Iphone? Well that was made largely in China 
Do you own household plates and dishes? Well those were made in China

The prob is that China needs the US and the US needs China. In many ways this makes the world safer. Japan could attack the US in 1941 because except for a few small treaties and some minor trade, Japan had all it needed in the form of energy and foodstuffs from it's territories in Asia. It did not need the USA

China on the other hand needs the US(and Europe) to provide manufacturing jobs that feed it's vast population and keep the people reasonable happy. It says it wants to look more inward with it's manufacturing and sales but it really is tied to foreign trade quite a bit currently

We feel that there are phantom tariffs that may be effective in re-lighting the USA Solar panel manufacturing business.
If all government and military purchases of Solar PV and many other forms of alternative energy must meet "Buy American" codes then the need for US manufacture of these products is assured.


The real culprit in the rush Chinese goods including Solar PV is the we in America. It is our own companies that rush to China to save on labor costs and you and me as consumers that pushed Walmart to always have cheaper prices so they rush to Asia to lower the cost of products. We blame China but is really our desire for low cost that caused all this.

The US Government being a mega buyer of products can force the manufacture of USA Solar thru funneling $ to projects with USA Solar only. This is really no different from the Chinese government becoming involved in Chinese company manufacturing.

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