Inside a SolarWorld manufacturing plant. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic
Solar product manufacturers in the US have rated imports as “an extremely important cause of injury” in responses to International Trade Commission (ITC) questionnaires.
The ITC has until September 22 to make an injury determination in the solar imports dispute that followed a Section 201 petition submitted by Suniva Inc and later supported by SolarWorld Americas Inc. The latter revealed on Wednesday some findings from an ITC report issued ahead of a key hearing on August 15 that will seek to determine whether imports of solar cells and modules have caused serious injury to the US manufacturing industry.
The report shows that almost 30 US crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar manufacturing plants have closed down since 2012. Over that five-year period, imports, mainly from Asia, have jumped five-fold, US module assemblers have recorded net losses of over USD 1 billion (EUR 852.3m), and research and development (R&D) investments have declined.
The Section 201 "safeguards" petition seeks relief against solar imports from all geographic sources. In it Suniva proposes a minimum price on (C-si) PV modules and a tariff on cells imports. The ITC has to make an injury determination by September 22 and to recommend specific trade barriers to the president by November 13.