With an anticipated preliminary choice on the Dept. of Commerce’s AD/CVD circumvention investigation pushed to Dec. 1, SEIA and 240 photo voltaic firms have sent a letter to Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo requesting she reject the unique petition.
The Commerce investigation began in March 2022 after California-based photo voltaic panel assembler Auxin Photo voltaic petitioned for a evaluate of Chinese language photo voltaic panel producers transferring parts of their manufacturing operations to Southeast Asia as a option to circumvent anti-dumping/countervailing duties (AD/CVD) in place in opposition to Chinese language photo voltaic producers since 2012. Particularly, Auxin wished a deeper have a look at photo voltaic operations in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to find out if Chinese language wafers, aluminum frames, backsheets and extra have been used in exported cells and modules. If sufficient Chinese language product is present in Southeast Asian module exports, DOC might prolong the AD/CVD to the talked about international locations.
Commerce should make its preliminary dedication on this potential circumvention case by Dec. 1, and the businesses on this letter clarify that an affirmative dedication isn’t justified and can stifle America’s means to deploy clear vitality.
“President Biden took an important near-term step over the summer season to unencumber a gridlocked photo voltaic provide chain, however firms gained’t have the ability to capitalize on the administration’s landmark local weather coverage if this baseless case isn’t thrown out,” mentioned Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “The Inflation Discount Act has launched a gradual stream of producing investments in the US, however extra tariffs will solely undermine this success.”
The Biden Administration stepped on this June by issuing an govt order inserting a two-year pause on any tariffs associated to this case “with the intention to make sure the U.S. has entry to a adequate provide of photo voltaic modules to fulfill electrical energy technology wants whereas home manufacturing scales up.” Commerce would proceed its investigation whereas giving U.S. contractors some respiration room to get initiatives on-line within the interim.
The U.S. photo voltaic and storage business, backed by SEIA, stays agency that the case lacks authorized advantage. Photo voltaic cell and module manufacturing requires specialised gear and is an intensive course of. Due to the numerous and main manufacturing work executed within the Southeast Asian international locations named within the investigation — a area that has beforehand equipped 80% of U.S. photo voltaic module demand — SEIA says the case initiated by Auxin Photo voltaic doesn’t meet the usual for circumvention.
The manufacturing provisions within the Inflation Discount Act put SEIA’s purpose of fifty GW of U.S. photo voltaic manufacturing by 2030 inside attain, however Commerce might crush demand with unjustified tariffs. The businesses within the letter are calling on Commerce to drop the investigation so the photo voltaic and storage business can proceed to develop and put money into home manufacturing manufacturing.
Firms signing the letter embody utility-scale and residential installers, builders, panel producers, inverter producers, mounting producers, software program firms, battery suppliers and extra.
If the Dept. of Commerce points its preliminary choice on Dec. 1, its closing choice would come on Might 1, 2023.