US govt asked to review Chinese solar companies allegedly circumventing antidumping duties

A new group called the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC), represented by: DC law firm Wiley, has filed a petition with the Ministry of Commerce asking the Ministry to investigate Chinese silicon solar panel producers operating in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in order to avoid anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CV).

Since 2012, AD/CV levies have been imposed against Chinese solar manufacturers. Imports of silicon solar cells from China are subject to an additional tax from the Ministry of Commerce. Some Chinese companies have relocated some of their production capacity to other Southeast Asian countries in a possible attempt to evade the tax.

This latest petition calls for a deeper look at specific companies operating in the three countries mentioned:

  • Malaysia: JinkoSolar, LONGi (and affiliates), JA Solar
  • Thailand: Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, Talesun Solar, Astroenergy
  • Vietnam: Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Sunergy, Boviet Solar, GCL, LONGi (and affiliates), JinkoSolar

A-SMACC released a statement through Wiley:

Today’s filing will ensure that the playing field for U.S. solar production is level and ready for the large-scale investments needed to tackle climate change. For too long, the obvious evasion of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese solar products has hindered US industry, gutted our supply chains and jeopardized our clean energy future. It is time for America to take the lead in this critical sector. This targeted enforcement action ensures that the United States’ status as a leader in innovation and manufacturing is not jeopardized by exploitative trade practices that harm the American worker.

While Chinese companies now export to the United States almost exclusively from Southeast Asia, the vast majority of manufacturing, research and development, and capital investment remains in China. In cases like this, the law is clear; the rights to Chinese solar products should be extended to circumventing entities. Otherwise, it is likely that our industry will succumb to monopoly control, jeopardize our energy security and seriously jeopardize the Biden administration’s goal of building back better with clean energy production.

The companies involved in A-SMACC and the petition have chosen to remain anonymous. The petition has not yet been made public by the Department of Commerce.

Industry trade group SEIA has sent a message to its members that the group will “aggressively oppose” a review of the duties.

“While we are still assessing the potential impact of these petitions, the disruption to the US solar market could be severe,” SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in an email.

Learn more about the decade-long battle over solar tariffs between the United States and China.

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