India could be the latest country to join a growing solar power trade dispute between the United States and China.
India is not looking to favor either side. Indian manufacturers of solar equipement are lobbying in New Delhi against imports from both the U.S. and China, naming parties like First Solar Inc, a U.S. company, and SunTech Power Holdings Co., a large manufacturer from China, Bloomberg reported.
Although Indian solar executives said they are on the same wavelength as the U.S. regarding a dumping case filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in October, they say they cannot fairly compete with Chinese and U.S. imports, which can enter the country tax-free while Indian law requires domestic manufacturers to pay duties on raw materials, according to Bloomberg.
Executives in the country are calling the trade imbalance a disaster in the making.
Indian solar manufactures are asking New Dehli to impose a 15 percent customs duty on solar imports entering the country. There are 51 solar module manufacturers in the country that are working at a fifth of their capacity because of a global drop in demand for solar power, reported the Hindu Business Line on Dec. 16.
The newspaper said India is suffering from large manufacturers dumping their excess solar inventories into the country.
If India does make a move to impose tarrifs, it will join the ranks of Europe, Australia and the U.S. who are all engaged in protesting alleged solar dumping by China.
On Dec. 2, the ITC made the first move in the trade case filed by SolarWorld Industries America Inc., the U.S. branch of German-based SolarWorld AG, voting that there is a reasonable expectation that the U.S. solar industry is being harmed by Chinese solar dumping.
The complaint is now being further investigated by the Commerce Department, which could report as soon as Jan. 12.