WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded a bipartisan letter led by U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging her to accept the anti-circumvention petition filed by Auxin Solar, Inc., a U.S. headquartered company that manufactures solely in America, requesting that the U.S. Department of Commerce close a loophole that is being exploited by Chinese companies operating in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to circumvent existing antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duty orders on solar cells and modules from China. The bipartisan House letter follows a bipartisan letter led by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“Despite lobbying by special interests groups that advocate for Chinese solar manufacturers, bipartisan lawmakers in both the House and Senate agree that the Department of Commerce should follow U.S. law and initiate an investigation without further delay,” said CPA Chairman Zach Mottl. “The Biden administration should also pursue additional policies like domestic tax credits for producers and strengthening Buy America rules. Unlike recent policy failures that benefit Chinese solar manufacturers, these would actually accomplish the president’s Build Back Better agenda and campaign promise to create 10 million clean energy jobs in America.”
CPA strongly supports the Biden administration initiating a circumvention investigation. These investigations are historically routine and based on long-standing U.S. law. Recently, they have become commonplace, especially on AD/CVD orders involving imports from China with the Department of Commerce self-initiating an inquiry last week concerning quartz surface products that are assembled in Malaysia using Chinese inputs.
“Chinese solar manufacturers built factories in Southeast Asia for the sole purpose of circumventing AD/CVD duties, and the Department of Commerce has a clear legal duty to investigate this textbook case of circumvention,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “If the Biden administration fails to robustly enforce U.S. trade law, China will successfully monopolize the global solar manufacturing industry and result in increased prices, harming deployment of solar globally. Alarmingly, it will ensure the U.S. is dependent on China for solar energy in the same respect that Europe is dependent on Russia for oil and natural gas—a national and economic security risk that we must avoid at all costs.”
Additional signers of the bipartisan letter to Secretary Raimondo are Representatives Jody Arrington (R-TX-19), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), Dan Kildee (D-MI-05), Robert Latta (R-OH-05), Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05), Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), and Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03).