U.S. to consider tariffs on solar panels made in Southeast Asia

Mar 29, 2022 11:54 AM ET
  • The Commerce Department's decision regarding imports from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam as well as Cambodia was a victory for Auxin Solar.
  • The San Jose, California-based solar supplier this year requested the probe, arguing that Chinese makers moved manufacturing to those countries to prevent paying united state duties in position for virtually a decade on Chinese-made solar goods.

United state profession officials on Monday claimed they will certainly release an investigation that could lead to tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian countries, a blow to clean power project programmers that rely upon cheap imports to maintain costs down.

The Commerce Department's decision regarding imports from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and also Cambodia was a victory for Auxin Solar. The San Jose, California-based solar maker this year requested the probe, arguing that Chinese manufacturers moved production to those nations to stay clear of paying united state duties in place for virtually a decade on Chinese-made solar goods.

Auxin's petition is the most up to date in a string of initiatives by united state solar producers to stem the flow of economical Asian panels that they argue make their products unable to contend in the marketplace.

Solar sector profession teams stated the investigation alone would right away hamstring project advancement and harm U.S. development in dealing with climate adjustment. President Joe Biden has actually established a goal of weaning the U.S. electrical energy field off of fossil fuels by 2035, a target that might thrust solar to supply up to 40% of the country's electricity requirements-- up from 3% currently.

Imports from the 4 countries make up regarding 80% of the panels expected to be installed in the USA this year, according to the American Clean Power Association sector group.

" This decision efficiently freezes growth in the united state solar sector," association chief executive officer Heather Zichal said on a conference call with reporters. "Frankly, the Commerce Department's action to initiate this investigation is a catastrophe for our sector."

In a statement, a Commerce Department spokesperson stated the department would "conduct an open and transparent investigation."

"This inquiry is simply an initial step-- there has actually been no determination one method or the various other on the merits, as well as no extra duties will be imposed at this time," the spokesperson claimed.

In a memo published on a Commerce Department website earlier in the day, officials said Auxin had actually provided details showing that solar companies running in the 4 nations are subsidiaries of big Chinese producers which items made there would certainly go through U.S. countervailing as well as anti-dumping duties if made in China.

"Auxin correctly alleged the elements essential for a circumvention determination," the memo said. The Commerce Department said it will issue a preliminary determination within 150 days. Auxin welcomed the decision.

"We are grateful Commerce authorities recognized the demand to explore this prevalent backdoor dumping and exactly how it remains to hurt American solar manufacturers," Auxin Chief Executive Mamun Rashid stated in a declaration.

U.S. solar profession teams lobbied heavily versus the Commerce Department taking up the petition. On Monday, they claimed projects will certainly currently be compelled to determine whether they can move forward given the potential for new tariffs that might dramatically enhance their cost. Solar panels compose regarding half the cost of a large-scale system.



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