U.S.-China trade agreement: polysilicon is only on the wish list

China’s Vice Premier Liu He (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump present the Phase 1 trade agreement
China’s Vice Premier Liu He (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump present the Phase 1 trade agreement – Image: U.S. Embassy in China

China has pledged to purchase an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. products and services, including $77.7 billion of manufactured goods, in 2020 and 2021 under the Phase 1 trade agreement signed by the two nations on January 15.

The list of manufactured goods includes solar-grade polysilicon, but the three U.S.-based producers Hemlock Semiconductor, Wacker and REC Silicon conceded that “any benefit for U.S. manufacturers and workers will depend on how China implements the agreement.”

In practice, the inclusion of polysilicon does not mean much more than a wish list as the 96-page trade agreement (see full text) leaves the high Chinese import duties on U.S. polysilicon untouched.

The litmus test will be on January 18 when the result of China’s final review of the polysilicon duties is due.

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