WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released a statement after the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (“A-SMACC”) filed a response with the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding illegal and unfair circumvention of trade remedies on Chinese solar cells and modules. The Department of Commerce requested additional information from the group on September 29, 2021. The petitions were filed by A-SMACC on August 16, 2021 requesting that the Department of Commerce investigate unfairly traded imports from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam of solar cells and modules that are unlawfully circumventing antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties on China. Additional background is available here and an Executive Summary of A-SMACC’s filing today is available here.
“It is abundantly clear that these U.S. domestic solar manufacturers have provided the Department of Commerce with strong evidence that Chinese solar companies are circumventing AD/CVD duties that were lawfully imposed on Chinese solar cells and modules,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “The Department of Commerce should investigate unlawful Chinese circumvention and ignore the fear mongering of those who wish to continue to import Chinese solar made with forced labor and dirty coal.”
In the request for additional information, the Department of Commerce requested the identities of the companies that filed the petition. A-SMACC’s response establishes that revealing the identities of A-SMACC’s members to the public would create significant risks of potentially crippling retaliation by the Chinese government, which has used predatory trade practices to achieve a stranglehold on solar supply chains. In 2014, a grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania (WDPA) indicted five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear power, metals and solar products industries.
“We urge Secretary Raimondo and the White House to recognize and take seriously the threats of Chinese retribution against these American companies if their identities are disclosed to the U.S. government,” continued Stumo. “The Chinese Communist Party has a history of retaliating against competitors to their state-owned and state-directed champions, including in the solar industry. In 2014, former Attorney General Eric Holder oversaw the indictment of five Chinese military members that sought to use cyber espionage against U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld.”
Earlier this month, CPA released a statement after five Chinese solar companies—LONGi Green Energy, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, JA Solar and Risen Energy—issued a statement in a blatant attempt to undermine the Biden administration’s trade enforcement actions and scare the U.S. solar industry into manufacturing a crisis.
Four of these Chinese solar companies were named in an explosive academic report that was released by the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region detailing the widespread use of Uyghur forced labour within the solar industry. The report found that the four largest solar panel suppliers in the world—JinkoSolar, JASolar, TrinaSolar and LONGi—all source from at least one polysilicon manufacturer that is implicated in Uyghur forced labour either through direct participation in forced labour schemes, and/or through their raw material sourcing.
Chinese solar companies, and a Washington special interest group funded by them, have been lobbying the Biden administration and Congress to remove the Section 201 solar tariffs on Chinese solar companies, prevent the Department of Commerce from investigating alleged circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on solar imports, and against the Biden administration’s actions aimed at Chinese solar companies’ use of forced labor in Xinjiang. Additionally, a group of 12 Senate Democrats recently sent a letter to the Department of Commerce parroting the talking points of Chinese solar companies and their trade association that lobbies on their behalf.