U.S. solar group seeking tariffs refuses to reveal its members

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Oct 13 (Businesshala) – A US solar conglomerate seeking import tariffs on panels made by Chinese companies in Southeast Asia has led to the identification of its members by federal trade officials, citing fears of retaliation by Beijing, according to a document. The request for disclosure has been declined. It was filed with the Department of Commerce on Wednesday.

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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.

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American manufacturers are eager to stamp out low-priced foreign competition, while installers rely heavily on cheap imports to make their business profitable.

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.

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Late last month, the Commerce Department deferred a decision on the request and asked the group to identify its 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.

The filing said, “Confidentially dealing with members of A-SMACC is the only way these US companies can protect their vital business interests, while seeking their statutory right to request protection from unfair trade practices.” Is doing.”

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.

Reporting by Nicola Groom; Editing by Jan Harvey

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