Petitions call for US investigation into ‘illegal’ circumvention of solar antidumping measures via Southeast Asian entities

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The coalition is protesting against alleged illegal circumvention of antidumping measures. Image: Flickr/Luke Price.

Petitions have been filed in the US requesting the launch of investigations into several solar manufacturers accused of circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties by using entities based in Southeast Asia.

Wiley, a law firm based in Washington, DC, has filed the petitions on behalf of an alliance of companies dubbed American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention, or A-SMACC. The alliance suggests that solar imports from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are unlawfully circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties in place on China and should be acted against.

A statement from A-SMACC and published by Wiley said the filing, lodged with the US Department of Commerce, would ensure that the playing field for American solar manufacturers is level and “ready for the scaled investments necessary to address climate change”.

“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. It is time for America to lead in this critical sector.

“While Chinese companies now almost exclusively export to the United States from Southeast Asia, the vast majority of manufacturing, research and development, and capital investment remain in China. In cases like this the law is clear; the duties on Chinese solar products should be extended to circumventing entities,” the statement reads.

While the petitions have yet to be published by the US Department of Commerce at the time of publication, Wiley has revealed they request investigation into a host of solar cell and module manufacturers with facilities in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, including JinkoSolar, JA Solar, Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, Talesun, Astronergy and LONGi, amongst others.

Members of A-SMACC have not yet been revealed. The alliance is being advised by Tim Brightbill and Laura El-Sabaawi, both partners at Wiley.

Wiley, rebranded from Wiley Rein in January 2020, and Tim Brightbill have history in acting on international trade disputes relating to solar PV. Brightbill was counsel for SolarWorld as it petitioned alongside Suniva for Section 201 tariffs to be applied to solar module imports from China, tariffs which remain in place today.

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