Group cited fears of retaliation by Beijing, says document
A US solar group seeking import tariffs on panels made by Chinese companies in Southeast Asia has declined a request by federal trade officials to reveal the identities of its members, citing fears of retaliation by Beijing, According to a document the group has filed with the commerce department. Wednesday.
The filing by the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) group is the latest development in a long-running conflict between the smaller US domestic solar manufacturing industry and a much larger swath of US solar project builders over Asian imports.
American manufacturers are eager to stamp out low-priced foreign competition, while installers rely heavily on cheap imports to make their business profitable.
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In August the domestic group asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether imports from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were unreasonable, arguing that Chinese companies had in recent years avoided existing US duties on solar cells and panels made in China. To survive, the production was shifted to those countries.
Late last month, the Commerce Department postponed the decision on request and Asked Groups to identify their members.
In its response to the department, the group denied it, arguing that identifying its members could face retaliation from the Chinese industry, which dominates the global solar supply chain and supplies critical solar panel components such as polysilicon. can cut.
Should Commerce agree with the group and eventually implement a trade measure, “if the Department does not allow the identities of A-SMACC members to remain confidential, its benefits will be significantly reduced”, the filing said.
US solar project developers, who make up most of the domestic industry, lobbied vigorously against the new tariffs, saying they would cripple a sector that is critical to meeting the Biden administration’s climate goals.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, which is the country’s primary solar trade group and opposes the tariffs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.