Trade Commission Finds Solar Imports from Southeast Asia Harm U.S. Manufacturers

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The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that the U.S. solar panel manufacturing industry is materially injured by imports of silicon solar cells and panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Commission will now pass the decision-making baton to the Dept. of Commerce, which will decide if it wants to initiate antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) before the end of the year.

The American Alliance for Solar Manufacturing Trade Committee (AASMTC) filed the petition for the AD/CVD investigation in April. It is the second AD/CVD investigation on solar products coming from Southeast Asia. In August 2023, Commerce extended AD/CVD to solar manufacturers working in Southeast Asia, but allowed manufacturers that use non-Chinese wafers or at least four solar components (silver paste, aluminum frames, glass, backsheets, EVA sheets, junction boxes) made outside of China to be exempt from the AD/CVD orders. Affected companies have been relocating their supply chains in the last two years to produce non-circumventing solar products, and imports from the four countries have never been higher in the United States.

The Committee, which includes domestic manufacturers First Solar, Mission Solar and Qcells as members, submitted the second AD/CVD petition due to the unsuccessful first AD/CVD measure to protect domestic manufacturers from a flood of imports.

Tim Brightbill, the lead attorney representing AASMTC, said the Committee appreciates the USITC’s affirmative preliminary determination.

“The preliminary investigations provided substantial and detailed evidence of these four countries engaging in illegal dumping and subsidizing of solar cells and modules, which is harming our companies and American workers and causing injury as well as creating tremendous volatility and cost uncertainty in the U.S. domestic solar market,” he said. “Because of the unfair trade practices of these largely Chinese-owned and -headquartered companies, billions of dollars of unfairly priced solar products have crushed the U.S. market, causing prices in the U.S. to fall by more than 50% in the last year. This makes it nearly impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete, and endangers the critically important investments being made in solar manufacturing all across the United States. We now look forward to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce moving ahead on its important investigations of dumping and subsidies by all four countries.”

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