China criticizes US for extending tariffs on solar energy
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce rejects the US President's decision and says it "hampers the development of clean, low-emissions energy."
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce criticized US President Joe Biden’s decision to extend tariffs, first introduced by former President Donald Trump in 2018, on imported solar equipment, saying the act will “distort” international trades of renewable energy products.
“The U.S. government insisted on the extension regardless of the strong opposition domestically and internationally,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Saturday. “The act won’t contribute to the healthy development of America’s solar industry and distorts the international trade order of solar as a new energy product.”
“We hope the U.S. can take real action to deal with the climate change and push forward global free trade,” the Chinese Ministry said in the statement.
China's solar energy production capacity rose by a record 54.9 gigawatts last year to 306.6 gigawatts.
China aims to have total wind and solar capacity of 1,200 gigawatts by the end of the decade up from 635 gigawatts at the end of last year.
The Chinese response comes after US President Joe Biden announced a decision on Friday to extend tariffs introduced by former President Donald Trump on imports of solar energy equipment for four years. Biden’s move includes an exemption on imported two-sided, or bifacial, panels that are widely used in utility-scale solar projects. The exclusion was first granted by Trump, and though he later tried to eliminate it, the exemption remains in place.
Former President Trump had imposed tariffs on solar energy imports in 2018 by virtue of Article 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. The tariffs started at 30% and then decreased to 15%.