Chinese solar companies turn to Eugene to avoid tariffs


Eugene-based Grape Solar is looking for manufacturing space to help Chinese solar manufacturers that want to avoid tariffs.

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Eugene-based Grape Solar is looking for manufacturing space to help Chinese solar manufacturers that want to avoid tariffs.

The federal government is investigating a trade complaint led by Hillsboro-based SolarWorld Americas against Chinese manufacturers. SolarWorld and six other American manufacturers accused the Chinese industry of receiving illegal government subsidies and dumping its products in the United States below cost.

If the Commerce Department sides with the U.S. manufacturers, tariffs would be levied on Chinese-made solar cells and solar panels, based on, and the high import duties would make previously cheap products suddenly cost-prohibitive, [Grape Solar president Ocean Yuan] said.

In response, the Chinese solar panel manufacturers are redesigning their supply chains. The most economical route now, according to Yuan, will be to keep wafer production in China, then to ship the wafers to Taiwan or South Korea for conversion into solar cells. And final assembly operations could be in America – potentially in Oregon for several companies.

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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