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The US Division of Commerce (DOC) has decided that 4 out of eight Chinese language photo voltaic corporations that it’s been investigating are “making an attempt to bypass US duties by doing minor processing in one of many Southeast Asian international locations earlier than delivery to the US.” Right here’s what it means for the US photo voltaic business.

December 5 replace: One of many 4 photo voltaic corporations, Vina Photo voltaic, is owned by Xi’An-headquartered LONGi Inexperienced Vitality Know-how, the biggest photo voltaic manufacturing firm on the planet.

LONGi immediately mentioned that it might present proof to the DOC that Vina is complying with US legal guidelines. The photo voltaic big mentioned in a press release to Reuters:

Subsequent, the US Division of Commerce will conduct onsite audit within the subsequent few months to confirm the authenticity of the investigation data. Throughout this era, we are going to actively present proof that exhibits we’re compliant with US commerce regulation and never circumventing.

Electrek will proceed to observe this story.

The DOC discovered that the 4 Chinese language corporations that tried to bypass US duties by processing in Southeast Asia are:

  • BYD Hong Kong, in Cambodia
  • Canadian Photo voltaic, in Thailand
  • Trina, in Thailand
  • Vina Photo voltaic, in Vietnam

The DOC findings are preliminary, and the company will conduct in-person audits within the coming months. The DOC additionally famous {that a} ban will not be going to be carried out on merchandise from Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam:

Corporations in these international locations shall be permitted to certify that they aren’t circumventing the [antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders], during which case the circumvention findings is not going to apply. 

The DOC additionally notes:

Additional, some corporations in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam didn’t reply to Commerce’s request for data on this investigation, and in step with longstanding observe, shall be discovered to be circumventing.

As Electrek reported in mid-Might, the DOC launched an investigation of whether or not Southeast Asian photo voltaic cell producers are utilizing elements made in China that will usually be topic to a tariff.

That investigation destabilized the US photo voltaic business, which depends on photo voltaic module imports to fulfill rising demand. Nearly all of the US photo voltaic business then asserted that the DOC investigation would hurt the US photo voltaic business and wished the investigation dismissed.

On June 6, President Joe Biden waived tariffs for twenty-four months on photo voltaic panels made in Southeast Asia in response to the investigation. He additionally invoked the Protection Manufacturing Act to spur on US photo voltaic panel and different clear vitality manufacturing. That method, home manufacturing could possibly be sped up with out interfering within the DOC investigation.

The DOC immediately asserted that Biden’s presidential proclamation gives US photo voltaic importers with “enough time to regulate provide chains and be sure that sourcing isn’t occurring from corporations discovered to be violating US regulation.”

However Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (SEIA), didn’t see it that method. She mentioned in a press release:

The one excellent news right here is that Commerce didn’t goal all imports from the topic international locations. Nonetheless, this determination will strand billions of {dollars}’ value of American clear vitality investments and outcome within the vital lack of good-paying, American, clear vitality jobs. Whereas President Biden was smart to supply a two-year window earlier than the tariff implementation, that window is rapidly closing, and two years is just not sufficient time to ascertain manufacturing provide chains that may meet US photo voltaic demand.

This can be a mistake we should cope with for the following a number of years.

George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Vitality, the US’s largest utility-scale photo voltaic installer, additionally wasn’t happy concerning the DOC’s announcement. He mentioned in an emailed assertion:

After years of provide chain challenges and commerce disruptions, I stay involved that the Commerce Division selected a path that would jeopardize the photo voltaic business’s potential to rent extra employees and assemble the clear vitality initiatives wanted to fulfill our nation’s local weather objectives.

The upside is that Commerce took a nuanced method to exempt numerous producers fairly than issuing a blanket ban of all merchandise from the focused international locations. Whereas it’s constructive that corporations will be capable of entry among the essential supplies we have to deploy clear vitality, it’s nonetheless true that this ruling will additional constrict a challenged provide chain and undercut our potential to satisfy the promise of the Inflation Discount Act.

Picture: Tom Fisk on

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