US solar industry announces further resistance to fines following ITC decision
Post date: 25/09/2017 - 19:37
Last Friday, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) unanimously voted by a four-member chamber that imports of crystalline silicon solar cells are »cause of serious injury to the domestic industry«.
ITC has thus initiated the second phase of proceedings based on petitions from the two companies Suniva Inc. and Solarworld America Inc. The two applicants are demanding that all crystalline solar cells imported into the USA should be subject to an import duty of ¢40 per watt for a period of four years, while at the same time setting a minimum sales price of ¢78 per watt for crystalline modules.
The ITC's vote must now be followed by concrete proposals on how sanctions should be implemented. These will be discussed in a hearing on 3 October. The official recommendation of the ITC to President Donald Trump, who in turn has 60 days to reach a decision, is to follow by 31 October. The President can follow the vote, but does not have to do so. However, a different decision could be overturned by Congress in favour of the ITC proposals.
While Suniva and Solarworld welcomed the ITC decision as expected, the US solar industry association SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) announced further decisive resistance. SEIA President Abigail Ross Hopper called the vote »disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ«. Foreign owned companies (the insolvent Suniva is majority owned by the Chinese company Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., Solarworld USA is a subsidiary of the likewise insolvent German Solarworld AG) tried to »are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments«.