U.S. trade officials dismiss solar group’s tariff bid on Asian imports

Author : Pankaj Singh | Published Date : 2021-11-12 

U.S. trade regulators reportedly rejected a bid by a consortium of local solar manufacturers seeking taxes on panels imported from three South Asian countries.

Solar developers in the United States rely on low-cost imports to make their projects competitive. In this context, the manufacturing group in August urged the Commerce Department to investigate imports from Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam, claiming that Chinese companies had transferred production to those economies in recent years to evade current U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar cells and panels.

The group, referred to as the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC), also requested for anonymity of its member to avoid any retaliation from Chinese industry.

In the first half of 2021, A-SMACC requested additional duties ranging from 50 to 250% on panel imports from the three countries, accounting for 80% of U.S. crystalline silicon solar module imports. This shows how much manufacturers in the United States are eager to eliminate low-cost foreign competition, however, the recent ruling didn’t turn in their favor.

An official with the U.S. Commerce Department's International Trade Administration wrote to an attorney for the group, stating the companies' desire for anonymity would prevent the agency from obtaining the information required to examine the request.

The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) applauded the decision and said it provides a rush of clarity for organizations to keep their investments moving, hire more employees, and deploy more clean energy.

The refusal was a win for the largest solar trade authority in the United States, which argued that tariffs would negatively impact a sector crucial to achieving the Biden administration's clean energy and climate change goals.

The dismissal is a boon to the solar installation industry in the United States that was expecting substantial job losses if taxes on imported solar panels were to postpone or change utility-scale project plans.

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Pankaj Singh

Pankaj Singh

Endowed with a post graduate degree in management and finance, Pankaj Singh has been a part of the online content domain for quite a while. Having worked previously as a U.K. insurance underwriter for two years, he now writes articles for fractovia.org and other online portals. He can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/PankajSingh2605

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