Raining on Xinjiang solar

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Biden administration will announce an import ban on solar materials from a major Chinese firm, three people familiar with the plans told Pro’s Kelsey Tamborrino and Gavin Bade . Customs and Border Patrol will issue a ban on imports of products linked to Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd, a major manufacturer of the feedstock for the polysilicon inside most solar panels. The action, called a withhold release order, will allow CBP to seize shipments from Hoshine, only releasing them if the importer can prove they are not made with forced labor.

The trade ban on Hoshine stops short of a region-wide WRO to block imports of polysilicon from all entities in Xinjiang. The administration has recently considered such a ban, Kelsey and Gavin reported this week, but CBP often blocks imports from individual companies as it builds the legal case for broader action.

The Solar Energy Industries Association said the move, which it anticipated, was welcomed. “The fact is, we do not have transparency into supply chains in the Xinjiang region, and there is too much risk in operating there,” John Smirnow, SEIA’s general counsel and vice president of market strategy, said in a statement. “For that reason, in October, we began calling on solar companies to leave the region and we provided them a traceability protocol to help ensure there is not forced labor in the supply chain.”