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U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry

6/4/2012 01:40 PM EDT
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Duane Benson
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
Duane Benson   6/8/2013 8:31:43 PM
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Unfortunately, I don't think protectionism works. I can understand the desire for tariffs such as this. It's difficult or impossible to compete against someone that has a lower cost basis, whether the disparity is fair or unfair. I remember anti-dumping legislation against Japanese LCD and memory chip manufacturers back in the 90's. It didn't keep either of those industries thriving here in the U.S. In theory, anti-dumping legislation should just buy time to allow domestic companies to become more efficient, but I don't think that happens. Ultimately, if a company isn't strong enough to compete in a world economy, it will fail. We may not like it and we may morn the loss of jobs and tax revenue, but doing so won't help. The only long-term answer is to figure out how to lower costs or increase value.

KB3001
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
KB3001   6/5/2012 8:35:41 AM
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The problem is the subsequent redistribution of wealth. If some people do well out of importing cheap products from China (as you said that's a good thing for consumers as they benefit from other people's hard work at low price) then some of these benefits should go to those who lose out as a result. This has not been happening however and as a result an underclass of society (formed mainly by relatively low skilled workers) has emerged as a result of globalisation. In theory, politicians talk about upskilling etc. but in reality this is not working for many people in society.

PHW_#1
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
PHW_#1   6/5/2012 3:54:28 AM
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In general, US solar industry NET gain is positive. The properly run & cost/technology competitive companies are making money like Helmlock, GT solar, Applied Material, first solar, SunPower and many instaler companies. This trade war will push some of surviving companies lose the biggest China solar manufacturing market. Fair ??? A well-run company might go under because of US trade policy issue? Win or Loss for US? Who knows? One thing for sure - made in US? We all wish. Tough since it is the fundamental competiveness, not just labor cost issue. Most likely just another "tire" case. US citizen paid double the price for tires, but tires still made from India,Indonesia,Mexico... somewhere else. US wants to start the trade war w/ the whole dveloping world? This won't work since biggest buyers for US made product are going to be the people from developing world soon. Want more well-run and still surving US companies go under for government policy? How can this help job creation? I have been wondering this question for a long time, which one is cheaper? setting up exactly SAME standard fab in developing countries or in US? How many accountants,lawyers and so called "safety or environmental" checks does a company need to pay just to get a manufacturing facility setup in US? How many paperwork needed for setting up a facility handling simple chemicals? You definitely need to have millions to be able to afford just the entry ticket for doing manufacturing facility in US. Start addressing the fundamental US policy, education, even work/management ethic issues. Make yourself more marketable is always better than forcing smaller countries to accept you as it is. As US is waking up, China might not be as "easy-going" as Japan or Korea, you can push around so easily.

Bert22306
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
Bert22306   6/4/2012 11:37:48 PM
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This is completely obvious stuff. In a very real sense, benefitting from supercheap Chinese-manufactured products means that the US consumer is benefitting from Chinese workers' very long work weeks and substandard living conditions. Like, you know, the dorm life associated with Chinese manufacturing plants. On the other side of the coin, this takes manufacturing jobs from the US. I've long asserted that imposing stiff import tariffs will mean a reduction of the standard of living for many in the US, but it should bring back some of the manufacturing jobs. A mixed bag. Those chronically out of work will clearly do better. Those who have decent jobs will find that their paycheck won't go as far. There's no free lunch, is the moral of this story.

chanj0
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CEO
re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
chanj0   6/4/2012 10:54:53 PM
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Due to the cost of solar panel in the last few years, solar industry has been thriving. To American companies, I believe the importers and installers, together with the consumers, are all benefit from it. The demand have created jobs in the import and construction business. However, the import hurts the American manufacturers. The tariff may help American manufacturers to stay in business. Importers will get hurt. So do construction companies. There is no doubt you will need to pay more if you decide to install solar panel in the next few months. So, which direction is better off to the big picture?

microe
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
microe   6/4/2012 9:04:12 PM
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still better than how Toyota was treated. "Free market only when it favors us"

yalanand
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re: U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
yalanand   6/4/2012 2:56:46 PM
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Sad to know that Commerce Department slapped stiff tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels. This will push the price of the solar panels higher in US. In this era of globalisation steps like this will definitely hurt the end customers because they cannot reap the benefit of low-cost technology.

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