Today in Cleantech

Well, the preliminary verdict is in from the Commerce Department in the trade case against Chinese solar manufacturers and they’ll face a very small tariff, ranging from 2.9 to 4.73 percent. It would seem that in an election year, the Obama administration would rather not face an all out trade war with China, though we may still see higher tariffs against China if the Commerce Department finds that Chinese companies are dumping panels sold below manufacturing cost on the U.S. market (today’s ruling centered around the claim that China was providing export subsidies to Chinese companies). Today’s winners are domestic solar installers, who had feared having to pay much higher prices for solar panels. A government commentary from China’s Xinhua News Agency described the ruling as having “some degree of rationality,” which sounds like diplospeak for, “a tiny tariff is just fine so that trade can continue fairly unchanged and the Commerce Department can look like it did something.”