USA investigates trade remedy measures on solar panels from Southeast Asia, USA investigates trade remedy measures on solar panels , investigate trade remedy measures on solar panels from Southeast Asia, trade remedy measures on solar panels from Southeast Asia,

U.S.-China Trade Tensions: U.S. Investigates Trade Remedy Measures on Solar Panels from Southeast Asia

On May 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated a multi-sector trade remedy investigation into allegations that solar panels and modules imported from Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, are unfairly subsidized and sold at prices below production costs in the U.S. market.

This initiation follows requests from U.S. solar equipment manufacturers last month, including Convalt Energy, First Solar, Hanwha Qcells USA, and Mission Solar Energy LLC, along with petitions from stakeholders outside the U.S. closely linked to the interests of domestic producers. The allegations claim that the U.S. needs to impose tariffs to counter unfair practices from competitors in Southeast Asia, citing subsidies, dumping, and potential evasion of U.S. trade remedy tariffs applied to other countries, most notably China.

The investigation will proceed concurrently, with the Department of Commerce examining whether dumping or subsidies are occurring and, if so, determining the margin of dumping or the level of subsidies. Meanwhile, the International Trade Commission will assess whether these practices are causing or threatening to cause material injury to the domestic industry.

Depending on the preliminary findings, importers may be required to post cash deposits for affected imports based on estimated duties four months from now.

Several renewable energy developers and foreign manufacturers have opposed this investigation. For instance, NextEra Energy has urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to reject the petitions and halt the investigation, arguing that the petitions were improperly filed and that the investigation is politically rather than legally motivated.

Canadian Solar contends that the petitioning companies have not demonstrated that they represent the domestic industry, a crucial factor for initiating an investigation. Illuminate USA LLC highlighted that although the investigation targets crystalline silicon solar panels, the U.S. does not currently manufacture these devices.

Notably, the investigation is taking place amid escalating U.S.-China trade tensions, which have been intensifying since their onset in 2018. Recently, China has increased its investment in renewable energy. However, the U.S. has not cooperated with China, as President Joe Biden’s administration has raised tariffs on Chinese imports. Most recently, the U.S. imposed new tariffs on $18 billion worth of electric vehicle goods, a sector China is actively exporting to other markets.

The U.S. also increased tariffs on Chinese-made electric cars to 100%, quadrupling the previous rate. This move signals a near-total closure of the U.S. market to Chinese manufacturers such as BYD and Xiaomi.

The investigation into Southeast Asian countries is part of the U.S.’s broader strategy to escalate tensions rather than reach an agreement with China. These countries are perceived as tools for China to circumvent U.S. trade remedy tariffs. Raising tariffs on these countries would significantly impact China’s efforts to become a global trade hub, competing with the U.S. and European nations.

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