US solar group seeking tariffs refuses to reveal its members

US solar group seeking tariffs refuses to reveal its members

A US solar group seeking import tariffs on panels made by Chinese companies in Southeast Asia has refused a request by federal trade officials to reveal its members' identities, citing fears of retaliation by Beijing, according to a document the group filed with the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

The filing by the group American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) is the latest development in a long-running clash between the small US domestic solar manufacturing industry and a much larger contingent of US solar project builders over Asian imports.

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

The domestic group in August asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether imports from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were unfair, arguing that Chinese companies had shifted production to those nations in recent years to avoid existing US duties on solar cells and panels made in China.

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 refused and argued that identifying its members could expose them to retribution from the Chinese industry, which dominates the global solar supply chain and could cut off supplies of critical solar panel components like polysilicon.

Should Commerce agree with the group and ultimately impose a trade remedy, "its benefits will be significantly blunted if the Department does not allow the identities of A-SMACC members to remain confidential", the filing said.

US solar project developers, which make up most of the domestic industry, have lobbied forcefully against 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 nation's primary solar trade group and opposes tariffs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

US bans China Telecom

WASHINGTON: US regulators on Tuesday terminated the authorization for China Telecom's American subsidiary to conduct business in the United States, citing "significant" national security risks.

10:45

More illegal job seekers caught on border

Border patrols arrested 79 more Myanmar job seekers who illegally crossed the border into Prachuap Khiri Khan in the Central region and Chiang Mai in the North on Tuesday.

10:25

Orkney's seaweed-eating sheep offer hopes of greener farming

NORTH RONALDSAY, United Kingdom: On a tiny island in Scotland's far-flung Orkneys, thousands of sheep spend the winter munching on seaweed, a unique diet that scientists say offers hope for reducing planet-warming methane emissions.

09:45