Commerce Department Finds Chinese Solar Companies are Illegally Circumventing Tariffs

Biden Administration Should Rescind its Solar Emergency Declaration

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released a statement after the Department of Commerce issued a preliminary determination that determined that Chinese companies operating in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are illegally circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duty orders on solar cells and modules from China. CPA strongly supports robust enforcement of U.S. trade law, especially in the face of illegal, predatory trade activity by Chinese manufacturers that are subsidized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

CPA is also calling on President Biden to immediately withdraw his Solar Emergency Declaration, which neutralizes the investigation, including Commerce’s preliminary finding that the Chinese are illegally circumventing AD/CVD duties. Incredibly, the White House failed to consult a single American manufacturer on the emergency declaration. Instead of supporting robust enforcement of U.S. trade laws, the emergency declaration gives Chinese manufacturers a free pass to illegally circumvent AD/CVD orders for 24 months and protects them from retroactive duties—regardless of what the final determination from Commerce is.

Biden’s emergency declaration came after intense lobbying by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade association that was exposed as a front for Chinese solar manufacturers and whose members have been implicated in the use of forced labor in Xinjiang.Earlier this year, the Commerce Department announced it was investigating three of SEIA’s Chinese members for illegal trade activity. As The American Prospect reports, “SEIA’s membership includes U.S. subsidiaries of Chinese producers JinkoSolar, JA Solar, Trina Solar, BYD, and LONGi Solar, which are the dominant solar component manufacturers in the world.”

In Commerce’s preliminary determination, it found that SEIA member’s Trina Solar and LONGI, which owns Vina, will face 254% tariffs as Commerce determined the companies failed to demonstrate their independence from the CCP. Trina’s products are shipped from Thailand, and Vina ships from Vietnam.

“This is an important win for the rule of law, American manufacturers, and the tens of thousands of workers that they employ,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Now that Commerce has preliminarily determined what CPA has been saying for months—that the Chinese are illegally circumventing—it is time for the Biden administration to rescind its Solar Emergency Declaration. At at time when American manufacturers are investing billions of dollars to boost domestic production as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, it is unconscionable that the White House wants to continue to give Chinese manufacturers a pass for illegally violating U.S. trade law to the detriment of American companies and American workers.”


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