The United States will impose 30% tariff on solar cell and module imports, according to the announcement made by U.S government on January 22. EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, makes the following notes regarding the impacts of this new decision on the industry.
1. The determination is less strict than previous proposals, and the market will stabilize after 2019. However, general c-Si products that are not exempted will not likely to have large-scale stock up in 2018.
2. The tariff will have the greatest impacts on production capacity in South Korea and Southeast Asia, etc. Manufacturers will first pay attention to how the quota of 2,500 MW will be distributed as this will affect their future operation and capacity expansion in different regions.
3. It is still under discussion whether countervailing duty/anti-dumping duty will be merged with the 30% tariff in Section 201, or whether the reduction of tax will be applied. But EnergyTrend believes that the tariff will make the solar cell products manufactured in China less competitive in the U.S. market.
4. Overseas manufacturers may be more likely to set up new module factories in the United States. However, with consideration of cost and risk, setting up cell factories in the United States is relatively less possible.
5. Taiwanese makers have benefited from the decreased anti-dumping duties after December 2017. Taiwanese makers' anti-dumping duty has dropped to 1.07% while that for Chinese makers has risen to 61.61%. As a result, for any module manufacturers that target at US market, Taiwanese suppliers of cells will become an option because of the low tariff.