The U.S. Department of Commerce moved to impose import duties of less than 5% on solar panels imported to the United States from China. The move was generally praised by both sides in the dispute over claims of “dumping” by Chinese solar panel manufacturers.

The Commerce Department said it intends to impose duties ranging from 2.9% to 4.73% on all imports from Chinese solar panel makers based on its investigation of “countervailing duties.” The department will make a determination in May regarding the dumping charges.

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), comprising seven manufacturers of solar panels with production facilities in the U.S. — three of which have chosen to identify themselves — brought complaints of dumping to the Commerce Department last year. SolarWorld, Helios Solar Works and MX Solar USA have come forward as founding members of the CASM.

On the other side of the dispute, the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) called the Commerce Department's preliminary determination “a relatively positive outcome for the U.S. solar industry and its 100,000 employees,” saying the duties imposed were much lower than expected.