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US Tariffs on Chinese Solar Imports Open Door for India

Updated: May 18, 2024 02:53:21pm

US Tariffs on Chinese Solar Imports Open Door for India

New Delhi, May 18 (KNN) US President Joe Biden's decision this week to sharply increase tariffs on USD 18 billion worth of imports from China, including a hike on solar equipment from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, is expected to provide a major boost to India's plans to become a global solar manufacturing hub.

The fresh round of trade sanctions against China will see tariffs rise across several sectors like steel, aluminium, semiconductors, electric vehicles, and batteries by 2024-2026. 

But experts say India is positioned to be a prime beneficiary specifically in solar equipment production.

"The US tariffs allow India to bring its thriving industrial base and robust anti-dumping measures to the fore, emerging as a major player in the global solar market," said Gyanesh Chaudhary, chairman of leading Indian solar firm Vikram Solar, reported Fortune.

He cited the potential for increased foreign investment and technology transfers.

India's cumulative module manufacturing capacity reached 64.5 gigawatts (GW) by end-2023, with 5.8 GW for solar cells. Capacity is projected to soar to over 150 GW for modules and 75 GW for cells by 2026 as India ramps up its "Make in India" push for solar.

The US, the world's second largest solar market after China, currently imports over 78 per cent of its solar equipment needs from China and Southeast Asian nations. 

It has taken steps to develop domestic manufacturing but non-Chinese producers remain uncompetitive on costs.

Last year, the US imposed duties on Chinese solar imports while allowing a 24-month tariff exemption window for imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam amidst supply concerns. 

But that window closes in June 2024, with the US poised to crack down on circumvention of sanctions through those nations.

"There's a longstanding love-hate relationship between the US and China leading to this tit-for-tat tariff cycle," said Ashish Agarwal of BluPine Energy. "But it creates an opportunity for India to capitalise on its manufacturing prowess in solar."

(KNN Bureau)


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