Solar companies warn tariffs on imported panels would be devastating

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A group of nearly 200 U.S. solar companies calls on the Commerce Department to reject recent petitions over tariffs on panels imported from some Asian countries, arguing that the measures would hurt U.S. investments in renewables and efforts to fight against climate change.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) wrote in a letter to the Secretary of Commerce Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoRepublican lawmakers tighten security, privacy concerns over Huawei’s cloud services Solar companies warn tariffs on imported panels would be devastating 12:30 p.m. report from The Hill: Biden increases vaccine needs for federal workers MORE, to which more than 190 companies have signed up, that there was an “immediate and serious threat posed to the US solar industry by the recently filed anonymous bypass petitions against imports of solar cells and panels from Malaysia, of Thailand and Vietnam ”.

The coalition said the tariffs, demanded last month by a self-proclaimed group US solar manufacturers against the Chinese bypass, “would devastate the industry and every one of our individual businesses.”

The SEIA said in a press release announcing the letter that the rights could lead the solar industry to “miss 18 gigawatts (GW) of solar deployment by 2023. ”

The solar energy trade association said 18 GW is “the equivalent of the amount of solar capacity installed in all of US history before 2015.”

The group went on to say that the petitions, if approved, would create tariffs of 50 to 250 percent on imports from the three countries, which account for 80 percent of all panel imports into the United States.

“Our country’s ability to effectively tackle climate change and fuel sustained economic growth relies on rapid deployment of solar and clean energy over the next 2-3 years,” the letter notes. “The petitions endanger this growth and threaten the livelihoods of more than 230,000 American solar workers. ”

“We urge you to use your authority and refuse the anonymous petitioners’ request to initiate circumvention investigations,” the companies told the commerce secretary.

Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of SEIA, said in a statement Wednesday: “I cannot stress enough the grave threat these irresponsible petitions pose to hundreds of thousands of American families.

“The Anonymous Petitioners call on the Department of Commerce not only to misinterpret U.S. law, but also to reverse a decade of departmental rulings in solar trade matters, all for the benefit of a few anonymous petitioners to the detriment of the whole of the US solar economy, ”she added. .

The Hill has contacted the Commerce Department for comment.

The group that filed petitions for the tariffs argued that the duties were needed to fight Chinese producers of solar cells and panels who they say have moved manufacturing to those countries to avoid US anti-dumping, according to them. Reuters.

The Biden administration, which has set a global target of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, also said earlier this month that it would aim to produce 45% of the world’s American electricity from solar energy by 2050.


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