SEIA: Commerce Obfuscates on Impact of Anticircumvention Tariffs

PVTIME – Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s comments today before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing:

“In her comments, Secretary Raimondo seems to suggest that if anti-circumvention tariffs were imposed on solar imports, the applicable tariff rates would be would be relatively minor and thus a low risk for importers.

“These remarks play into the petitioner’s misleading claims about the merits of the petition and impacts of the investigation. To succeed in this case, Auxin Solar must show that solar cell manufacturing is ‘minor’ or ‘insignificant processing,’ which is an absurd claim for anyone with a basic understanding of solar cell manufacturing. Solar cell manufacturing occurs in many stages and will continue to be a global operation until the United States makes serious investments in domestic manufacturing.

“What the Secretary fails to mention is that under current trade law, the anticircumvention tariffs would be retroactive and apply to imports as early as November 2021. If you buy a solar panel today from one of the four affected countries, you may not know how much you owe in tariffs until months, or even years, from now. Why would any reasonable business buy solar panels in such a risky and uncertain business environment? The fact is, they wouldn’t, and that’s why the U.S. solar industry is grinding to a halt. The American solar industry needs clarity from the Commerce Department, not further obfuscation and tumult.”