Bifacial panels likely to remain exempt from Section 201 tariffs

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image: LONGi.

US President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the exemption for bifacial panels within Section 201 trade tariffs look set to be thwarted once more.

Two filings issued yesterday (15 October 2020) detail that the Trump administration's attempts to revoke the exemption look set to be blocked by Judge Katzmann of the US Court of International Trade. In an investor note, investment bank Roth Capital said it “should expect” Judge Katzmann to rule against the government within the 15-day deadline and continue to allow the 201 bifacial exemption.

A Presidential Proclamation published on 10 October saw Trump call on the US International Trade Commission to investigate whether existing measures remain satisfactory in protecting the domestic manufacture of solar products in the US.

Trump said the exclusion of bifacial panels from the application of the safeguard tariffs has “impaired and is likely to continue to impair” the effectiveness of his four-year solar tariff policy “in light of the increased imports of competing products”. He added that “it is necessary to revoke that exclusion and to apply the safeguard tariff to bifacial panels”.

The proclamation provides a 15-day window for any potential judicial challenge of the decision.

It's not the first time Trump's White House has attempted to close the exemption for bifacial solar modules after the US Trade Representative elected to spare such panels from Section 201 duties in June 2019.

This was followed by a sharp U-turn just four months later, when the USTR axed the exemption. But this prompted a legal challenge from plaintiffs including Invenergy Renewables, EDF and trade group SEIA, and the US Court of International Trade slapped a preliminary junction on the order.

The issue was again raised in April this year when the USTR again said it wished to remove the exemption, stating it would do so as soon as the court’s injunction was lifted.

Section 201 tariffs were introduced by the Trump administration in 2018 to boost the fortunes of domestic manufacturers. While an official review by the US International Trade Commission into their effectiveness found mixed results, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) claims they have caused “devastating harm” to the US solar sector.

An analysis by SEIA says the trade tariffs have prevented billions of dollars in new private sector investment, cost more than 62,000 jobs and meant that 10.5GW of installations have collapsed.

Read Next

June 15, 2021
The confidence of renewable energy investors and developers stands at an “all-time high”, a new report by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) claims, however investment must surge in the coming years if the US is to meet decarbonisation goals.
PV Tech Premium
June 1, 2021
Liam Stoker explores solar’s role within the International Energy Agency’s net zero roadmap, charting its prospective journey to more than 14.5TW of installed capacity, a global and highly-skilled workforce and trillions of dollars of invested capital.
May 24, 2021
PV Tech Power volume 27 is now available to download, providing a comprehensive and detailed analysis of Europe’s solar market.
PV Tech Premium
May 12, 2021
After the International Energy Agency revised its renewables deployment forecast upwards by 25%, Liam Stoker looks at the difficult nature of forecasting a rapidly maturing sector amidst a changing landscape
PV Tech Premium
May 10, 2021
Andy Colthorpe takes a look at what’s happening and what’s expected to happen in the Japanese large-scale PV market, with data and analysis courtesy of RTS Corporation and interviews with Vena Energy Japan, Sonnedix Japan and Baywa Japan.
May 5, 2021
Europe’s solar industry has lauded the inclusion of a commitment to "re-ignite" Europe's solar manufacturing sector within the European Commission’s refreshed industrial strategy.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021