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Yesterday, the Obama administration imposed tariffs of up to 250 per cent on Chinese-made solar cells, ostensibly in an effort to aid domestic manufacturers, Bloomberg reported.At first blush, that move appears to have backfired, at least on the market.
Shares of First Solar, SunPower Corp. and Trina — all based in the U.S. — were down an average of about 5 per cent this afternoon, almost certainly in anticipation of a likely retaliatory move from China:
“Charles Yonts, an alternative-energy analyst at CLSA Ltd. in Hong Kong, said China is likely to retaliate by targeting U.S. makers of polysilicon, the raw material that goes into solar cells,” Bloomberg reported. “The lift for U.S. manufacturers ‘should be short-lived,’ Yonts said. ‘They’ll still get smoked by the Chinese.’ ”
However, the tariffs have put a dent in Chinese solar stocks, with suburban Shanghai-based ReneSola Ltd. falling furthest at -8.78 per cent. LDK, Yingli and Suntech were also down.