- A group of more than 200 companies in the US solar PV supply chain want the Commerce Department to dismiss petition filed by A-SMACC
- They fear if the 50% to 250% tariffs are implemented, it would take off 18 GW of solar deployment from the country by 2023
- As much as 231,000 solar jobs would be impacted, not to mention the decarbonization goals of the current administration, the companies claim
The US Department of Commerce has been petitioned by an anonymous group to slap as high as 50% to 250% duties on crystalline silicon solar PV cells and panels, being imported into the country from Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. This, fears the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), would have a ‘catastrophic impact’ on the US solar market and the 231,000 jobs it has created over the years.
It would also take off as much as 18 GW of solar deployment that the US could be adding by 2023, since the 3 said nations account for 80% of all solar panels imported to the US. If implemented, it would take the US solar market back to before 2015 levels.
For the uninitiated, in August 2021 law firm Wiley, on behalf of American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC), filed petitions with the Commerce Department to impose antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese solar products being shipped into the US through the 3 Southeast Asian nations (see US Solar Manufacturers File Petitions Against Chinese).
Now, led by SEIA, the major part of the US solar industry—comprising manufacturers, developers, installers, financiers and service providers across the solar supply chain—is pushing back against the anonymous group.
In a letter signed by more than 200 companies to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, SEIA has requested the department to dismiss the ‘frivolous petitions’. It calls out the petitions for being based on a ‘false premise’ that manufacturing in the 3 Southeast Asian nations is ‘minor and insignificant’ and that these cells and panels are significantly made in China and passed through the targeted nations.
“I cannot overstate the dire threat that these reckless petitions are imposing on hundreds of thousands of American families,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a strongly worded statement. “The anonymous petitioners are asking the Department of Commerce to not only misinterpret U.S. law, but also overturn a decade of department decisions in solar trade cases, all to benefit a few anonymous petitioners at the expense of the entire US solar economy.”
SEIA and team also point out the significant damage the petitioners would bring to the nation’s ability to meet decarbonization goals of President Joe Biden. The US has already protectionist import tariffs for solar modules in place and customs has recently also started confiscating modules that are supposed to come from Xinjiang province (see Sign Of Times To Come? US Govt. Detaining PV Modules)
A recent study by the US Department of Energy called Solar Futures Study calculates the country’s solar energy potential at 40% of the country’s mix by 2035 since the domestic PV production capacity is not enough currently to meet the requirements (see US Wants 40% Electricity From Solar By 2035).