CPA: ITC Absolutely Right to Initiate Investigation into Illegal Chinese Circumvention

Commerce Absolutely Right to Initiate Investigation into Illegal Chinese Circumvention

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) released a statement after the U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously to initiate an anticircumvention investigation into potentially illegal trade practices by Chinese companies operating in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia that are injuring the U.S. solar industry. Commerce’s investigation is the result of petitions filed by seven major U.S. solar manufacturers: Convalt Energy, First Solar, Meyer Burger, Mission Solar, Qcells, REC Silicon, and Swift Solar. The companies subject to this investigation would be primarily Chinese-headquartered companies. For more information on this petition, visit Earlier this week, CPA applauded letters from the Senate and House supporting the solar trade case against China.

A recent analysis by the CPA Economics Team warned that the U.S. solar industry is being threatened by China’s overcapacity and that China’s solar companies are surviving on CCP subsidies—a point that was reiterated by National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard: “China is using the same playbook it has before to power its own growth by investing in significant industrial overcapacity and flooding global markets with artificially cheap exports.”

“The evidence put forward by U.S. solar manufacturers documenting predatory Chinese trade tactics is clear, and CPA is pleased that the Department of Commerce has chosen to initiate an investigation,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “In order to grow a strong, domestic solar supply chain, China’s overcapacity and dumping on the U.S. market must be addressed. This trade investigation  against China is an important step, but the Biden administration and Congress must do more. That should include prohibiting Chinese companies from benefiting from Inflation Reduction Act tax credits.”

The trade investigation faces opposition from “industry groups” like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which was exposed as a front for Chinese solar companies. In a scathing report, The American Prospect exposed SEIA as failing to “disclose that among its leading members are the same Chinese-owned companies that are implicated not only in the investigation of illegal tariff evasion, but in the use of slave labor to produce solar components and coal-fired energy to power the factories.” Additionally, The American Prospect unmasked that SEIA’s “main strategy for the past ten years has been to lament restrictions on Chinese solar production.”

SEIA has a history of opposing trade cases investigating illegal Chinese activity. In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it had identified three Chinese solar manufacturers linked to forced labor that are members of SEIA in the Department’s previous anticircumvention investigation. During the previous trade case, SEIA laughed at the idea that China was guilty of circumventing tariffs—which is exactly what the Department of Commerce ultimately determined in its investigation.

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