ITC Votes In Favor Of PV Tariffs
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has unanimously determined that Chinese photovoltaic (PV) imports have materially injured the U.S. industry, meaning duties will be issued. No critical circumstances were determined to be present; as such, retroactive duties will not be applied.
Just over a year after it submitted its petition to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), SolarWorld is celebrating the news that antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CV) duties will be applied to all crystalline silicon PV cells, modules, laminates and panels coming into the U.S. from China. The USITC voted unanimously (6-0) in favor of the tariffs.
Regarding critical circumstances, the USITC voted three to two in favor of their dismissal from the case. As such, no retroactive AD and CV duty orders will be applied to goods that entered the U.S. before the date of publication in the Federal Register of the Department of Commerce’s affirmative preliminary determinations.
According to the USITC, in 2011, a total of 14 crystalline silicon PV cell and module producers were located in the U.S., representing 1,856 workers. While they shipped a total of US$709.5 million modules last year, the U.S.’ “apparent” consumption totaled $3.01 billion.
Meanwhile, China was found to have imported 1.5 million kW of crystalline silicon PV cells and modules into the U.S. in 2011. Overall, the value of modules imported was said to total $1.9 billion.
While SolarWorld Industries America, Inc. applauded the move, it was still critical of China’s solar industry practices. “In light of China’s apparent determination to prop up its excessive production capacity at any cost, it [SolarWorld] would continue to pursue all relevant options to address China’s improper trade practices.”
Yingli Green Energy said it was glad to see the end of the U.S. trade investigations. However, Liangsheng Miao and CEO said he was “saddened to see the global ramifications of this case. We are in the midst of a global trade war now, and Europe will be defending itself vigorously in the footsteps of the U.S. decision.”
In a scathing response, Suntech America’s MD, E.L. “Mick” McDaniel stated, “The continued growth of trade barriers represents a serious challenge to the U.S. solar industry, for American jobs, and for energy consumers globally. SolarWorld’s hypocritical campaign has forced the fast-growing American solar industry to foot the bill for SolarWorld’s competitive failures. Further damage can be prevented if governments engage in constructive dialogue to roll back protectionist barriers that limit our industry’s ability to compete against fossil fuels.”
Trina Solar meanwhile, said it was currently evaluating whether it is “necessary and prudent to appeal these final determinations issued by the ITC.”
“We are disappointed by the Commission’s vote to impose protectionist trade measures, which we believe may slow solar-related investments in the United States and delay affordable market access to our most efficient cell technology-based products,” said Jifan Gao, chairman and CEO. “As announced previously, we are prepared for this outcome and will continue to abide by our contractual commitments. This will not affect the offering of product lines that are not subject to these duties.”
Image Credit: Thomas Beetz Photography