Solar industry aims to shine light on tariff probe

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Solar developers are hitting Capitol Hill today to warn against the Commerce Department’s recent investigation into solar modules from four Southeast Asian nations, which they argue will cut jobs and solar capacity. The Solar Energy Industries Association is out with new data on the impact of the anti-circumvention probe that is examining whether imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam are being used to avoid existing duties on imports from China.

SEIA forecasts solar installations for 2022 and 2023 would be cut by 46 percent due to the investigation and about 100,000 jobs in the solar industry would be lost should the department issue an affirmative determination. As of 2020, more than 230,000 U.S workers were employed in the solar industry. The trade group also surveyed more than 700 respondents in the industry and found that 83 percent reported module supply cancellation or delays stemming from the probe.

John Smirnow, SEIA’s general counsel and vice president of market strategy, told ME there will be more than 50 senior executives “storming” the Hill today and meeting with members and staff. “One clear message: Commerce needs to issue a negative preliminary determination immediately. The damage that this case is doing to the industry is unacceptable,” Smirnow said.

Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at SEIA, added the executives will be asking Congress to pass reconciliation and to take “any steps” they can to help make the case for termination of the circumvention case as quickly as possible.