North Carolina is Helping China Enter the US Solar Panel Market. That’s a Mistake.

North Carolina is helping China enter the US solar panel market. That’s a mistake.


In April, Gov. Roy Cooper welcomed Boviet Solar to North Carolina. He applauded an announcement that the company will invest nearly $300 million to manufacture solar panels in Greenville, funded in part by N.C. taxpayers. The announcement noted that Boviet is headquartered in Vietnam, but failed to mention that it’s owned by a Chinese entity.

Boviet’s true owner is Ningbo Boway Alloy Material Co. Ltd., a subsidiary holding company of the Boway Group. Ningbo Boway is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is part of China’s massive effort to dominate the global solar supply chain. A key piece of China’s strategy is manufacturing in Southeast Asia to evade U.S. tariffs, according to the Coalition for a Prosperous America. That includes Boviet’s Vietnamese facilities. Boviet Solar is undeniably a Chinese company. Founded in 2013, it was acquired by Ningbo Boway in 2016.

The Boway Group was established in 1987 in China and is a multinational conglomerate with a billion-dollar-plus portfolio spanning nearly a dozen industries. The chairman of the Boway Group, Xie Shicai, is not only a member of the Communist Party of China but also a member of the 13th National People’s Congress Zhejiang Committee, further solidifying his company’s deep-rooted connections to Beijing. China is flooding the global market with solar panels — part of an aggressive strategy to dominate the world’s solar industry. Seven major U.S. solar manufacturers recently filed a trade case regarding China’s illegal trade practices, and the U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously this month to move forward on it. The solar case exemplifies what U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently described as Chinese overproduction that “distorts global prices and production patterns and hurts American firms and workers.”

Chinese-owned companies now control more than 80% of the global solar market thanks to predatory trade and massive subsidies from Beijing. That threatens America’s chances of building a viable domestic solar industry. Thankfully, a bipartisan consensus is emerging in Washington that tariffs are needed to address China’s massive overproduction. But even as Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to confront China, there’s still opposition from industry groups such as the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) that have been exposed as a front for Chinese solar manufacturers. Its members have also been implicated in the use of forced labor in Xinjiang. China’s use of forced labor in its solar supply chain is well documented. Four of SEIA’s Chinese solar members were named in a report by the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region that details the widespread use of Uyghur forced labor within China’s solar industry.

North Carolina taxpayers should be concerned about subsidizing a company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party. A recent economic analysis found the Chinese solar industry is losing millions of dollars a year but stays in business thanks to massive financial support from the Chinese government. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was specifically intended to boost U.S. domestic solar manufacturing. Unfortunately, Chinese firms are already looking to access more than $125 billion in IRA funds for their own operations. In response, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) have introduced legislation to prohibit Chinese companies from receiving IRA tax credits. The Boway Group is well aware of this loophole. In addition to having multiple manufacturing facilities across China, Boviet Solar’s N.C. site marks the company’s first foray into the U.S. market, a clear ploy to access U.S. taxpayer funds.

The U.S. solar manufacturing industry can play an important role in the 21st century economy. But that requires a smart, coherent trade and industrial strategy to counter China. American taxpayers, including those in North Carolina, should not be forced to subsidize China’s solar industry. Anything less could condemn America to a solar future made in China.


CPA is the leading national, bipartisan organization exclusively representing domestic producers and workers across many industries and sectors of the U.S. economy.

The latest CPA news and updates, delivered every Friday.


Get the latest in CPA news, industry analysis, opinion, and updates from Team CPA.