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The overabundance of cheap Chinese solar panels on the U.S. market appears to have killed N.J.-based MX Solar USA, which terminated production last month, causing it to lay off the few workers it still had on staff. The move comes just a few weeks after the U.S. Commerce Department issued a temporary ruling to deter Chinese solar panel makers from dumping product.
The company's closing represents yet another blow to what President Barack Obama touted as a growth industry, in which fierce Chinese competition has rendered some manufacturers insolvent.
Said Carlo Santoro, the company's director of business development, to the Bergen Record: "We had to cease production because we were so drastically affected by the Chinese dumping of solar panels ... We can’t make them for what they are being sold for."
A subsidiary of an Italian panel manufacturer, the company opened its $15 million production plant in late 2010, thanks in part to financial help -- in the form of a loan and a grant -- from the state -- amounting to $3.3 million. It at one time had as many as 120 employees working for it.
Even though Uncle Sam has moved to increase tariffs on product originating from China, it's too little too late for MX Solar USA.
"It may help in the long run, but we certainly don’t see an immediate benefit from it, because [panel] prices are still continuing to drop," Santoro told the Record. The Chinese have also discovered ways to work around the tariffs, he added.
Read all about it: http://bit.ly/MtwJF6.