On Thursday, May 17th, the United States announced that it will impose anti-dumping tariffs of more than 31% on solar panels from China. This decision, likely to ratchet up the trade tensions between the US and China, is the result of the US Department of Commerce finding several Chinese solar panel companies guilty of dumping their goods (selling them at below fair-market value).
The United States bought $3.1 billion worth of Chinese solar cells in 2011, which comes to more than half the American market for these devices. The anti-dumping duties are intended to level the playing field for US solar panel makers who may be undermined by Chinese competition, but may not necessarily be high enough to drive the Chinese makers out of the business altogether. Regardless, this imposition is said to be one of the strongest by the Obama administration in addressing complaints of unfair Chinese trade and economic practices.
This change also comes with opposition from many solar panel installers in the United States who have opposed anti-dumping duties. They believe the inexpensive imports have helped spur many homeowners and businesses to put solar panels on their rooftops. However, this change is likely to mean a substantial increase in the price of solar panels going forward. High duties are likely to raise costs, slowing demand for the polysilicon that is used to make solar panels.
As per the Department of Commerce, merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000.
The Commerce Department said a final determination on tariffs would be made in early October.
On May 14, 2012, President Obama signed the presidential proclamation that put the United States-Colombia free trade agreement into force. Designed to promote the flow of certain goods and services between the countries, the free trade agreement was years in the making.
According to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the tariff reductions in the Agreement will expand exports of US goods alone by more than $1.1 billion, supporting thousands of additional American jobs. The International Trade Commission also projected that the Agreement will increase US GDP by $2.5 billion. The Agreement will remove significant barriers to US goods from entering Colombia’s market, as over 80 percent of US exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty free immediately, with remaining tariffs phased out over the next 10 years.
Because the agreement specifies changes in rules of origin and HS codes, Amber Road was anticipating the formalization with the necessary updates to its extensive body of trade content, known as Global Knowledge®. Amber Road’s trade specialists constantly monitor government information feeds from around the world to ensure that the Global Knowledge® database is kept current as trade regulations change.
In fact, the US-Colombia FTA is affecting 20,681 HS codes and 858 rules of origin. Amber Road’s customers will see these changes within 24 hours of the effective date of the agreement. No other vendor in the industry provides that level of service when it comes to trade content.
You can read the full press release here. To learn how Amber Road can help your company realize the benefits of an FTA program, check out our Trade Agreement Management brochure.
A new white paper released today by Amber Road found that mid-market companies are increasingly at risk for violating U.S. export regulations. This is especially concerning because U.S. export volumes are on the rise. According to a recent U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report, U.S. exports grew 7.7% from January 2011 to January 2012.
Amber Road surveyed 150 mid-market companies about their export compliance processes. They found that 23% do not screen for restricted parties prior to engaging with trading partners and customers, and only 41% have a comprehensive export compliance program in place. Not surprisingly, survey respondents pointed to a lack of executive sponsorship as a primary reason for their companies’ trade compliance deficiencies.
To learn more, read the full press release, or download a copy of the white paper.