NextEra Energy has asked the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to either force a new alliance of solar companies to reveal its members or to ditch its request for fresh tariffs on China-linked solar imports.
The US utility yesterday (Tuesday) sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo challenging petitions filed last week by the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) alliance, which has requested an investigation into PV manufacturers that are accused of circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties by using entities based in Southeast Asia.
In addition to asking the DOC to either reject the petition outright or require the group to refile with the names of its members, NextEra has requested that the department set a deadline for interested parties to submit comments related to the initiation of A-SMACC’s anti-circumvention requests, which it said would be consistent with recent circumvention proceedings.
Washington D.C.-based law firm Wiley filed the petitions on behalf of A-SMACC, but members of the group have yet to be revealed.
In its filings last week, A-SMACC said disclosure of its members could lead to retribution against them. However, NextEra said it could find no precedent for the DOC treating the names of individual petitioning companies as proprietary in an anti-circumvention inquiry.
A-SMACC petitions call on the DOC to investigate what the group claims are “unfairly traded imports” of modules and cells from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam “that are unlawfully circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties”.
A statement from A-SMACC published by Wiley last week said: “For too long, obvious circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese solar products has hobbled the US industry, eviscerated our supply chains, and put our clean energy future at risk.”
Reports surfaced last week that the US has started detaining solar module shipments suspected of breaching the country’s withhold and release order (WRO), which aims to remove goods that are allegedly made using forced labour from global supply chains.
The WRO effectively blocks the import of silicon metal from Hoshine Silicon Industry and its subsidiaries, as well as solar products suspected of containing silicon products manufactured by Hoshine.