It may surprise you to recall that in 2010 the US was a billion-dollar net exporter of solar power goods. But it probably won't surprise you to learn that the balance shifted dramatically in 2011.
New stats from the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing show that what was a $247 million trade surplus with China in 2010, turned into a $1.6 billion trade deficit in 2011. (h/t Think Progress)
A leading cause of this reversal is a massive surge in Chinese exports of dumped and subsidized solar cells and modules, which, in 2011, more than doubled the totals of 2010, increasing from more than $1.2 billion to more than $2.8 billion. Further, exports to China of products for which the United States had a significant trade surplus in 2010 – polysilicon (the main raw material used to produce solar cells) and solar manufacturing equipment – declined precipitously in 2011, falling by $194 million and $170 million, respectively (a 21 percent combined decrease).
CASM backs the proposed anti-dumping tariffs against China filed with the US International Trade Commission.