Q CELLS, LG and Mission Solar add to calls for US import tariff extension

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Workers at Q CELLS’ 1.7GW module assembly plant in Georgia. Image: Q CELLS.

A further three companies have submitted a petition that aims to extend the US’ import tariffs of crystalline silicon solar PV cells and modules.

Hanwha Q CELLS USA, LG Electronics USA and Mission Solar Energy claim that removal of the Section 201 safeguard tariffs would “make it more likely that the US becomes wholly dependent on imports” to combat the climate crisis.  

“Smart trade policy and continuation of the Section 201 safeguard relief are critical to ensuring that our clean energy goals can be met,” the three companies said in a statement sent to PV Tech.

Their announcement follows a petition filed last week from US solar panel manufacturers Auxin Solar and Suniva, which have asked the International Trade Commission to extend the tariffs for four years. Without an extension, the safeguard will end on 6 February 2022.

Q CELLS, LG and Mission Solar said that while “incredible strides” have been made by the US solar manufacturing sector in the last four years, adding more than 5GW of module production capacity, they warned that expansion plans “are imperilled by increasing import volumes, unsustainable market prices and dramatically rising input costs”.

The Section 201 tariffs were introduced by the Trump administration in 2018, with imports on solar cells and modules subjected to an initial 30% tariff that was scheduled to decrease by five percentage points each year. Last October, Trump issued a proclamation that increased the tariff rate from 15% to 18% in its fourth year (2021).

The tariffs have previously come under fire from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which suggested that they have caused “devastating harm” to the US solar industry. Responding to the petition filed by Auxin and Suniva, the trade body’s vice president of market strategy and general counsel, John Smirnow, described the tariffs as a “multibillion-dollar drag on industry growth”.

He said: “The way to create more US manufacturing is long-term federal investments, not short-sighted tariffs. Indeed, SEIA is advocating for a suite of federal policy options designed to provide demand certainty, leverage private sector capital investments and provide ongoing production support as gaps are filled in the domestic solar supply chain.”

Following a bill introduced earlier this year that would establish a tax credit for US-based solar manufacturers, SEIA has called for a ten-fold increase in US solar manufacturing capacity to reach 50GW of annual production by 2030.

Read Next

September 20, 2021
The US solar policy landscape is shifting at breakneck speed, with new incentives and trade tariffs promising to alter the shape of the industry for the coming decade. Luckily Andy Colthorpe and Liam Stoker are here to decipher the changes in the September 2021 episode of the Solar Media Podcast.
September 14, 2021
The Senate of Illinois has passed legislation that will commit the US state to reaching 50% renewables by 2040 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
September 14, 2021
The US solar industry is set to continue breaking annual installation records in the coming years despite supply chain constraints that have led to higher prices as well as disruptions caused by the government’s withhold release order (WRO), according to new research.
September 9, 2021
A letter co-signed by more than 750 US organisations has called on US Congress to push through policies to significantly ramp up renewables deployment in the country.
September 3, 2021
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has rejected China’s challenges to US safeguard tariffs on certain crystalline silicon PV cells, ruling that the measures have not breached global trade rules.
PV Tech Premium
September 3, 2021
For years California, Texas and Florida have dominated the US solar market, but backed by the investment tax credit, strong state-specific renewables standards and falling costs, new states are coming to the fore. Molly Lempriere takes a look at what is driving them, and the hurdles they face if they are to challenge the ‘Big Three’.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021