Trade War: SEIA drafts solution to China-US solar dispute

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

US trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has proposed a solution to the US-China trade dispute in the form of a ‘Solar Manufacturing Settlement Fund’, with funding to come from Chinese companies, to assist US solar manufacturers grow the US market.

After negotiations in Washington and Beijing, the SEIA has proposed funding is made available from the price premium Chinese companies currently pay third country cell producers, such as Taiwan, to avoid US sanctions.

The loophole of third party cell manufacturing countries that are used by Chinese module manufacturers, in order to avoid US dumping duties on cells, raises the end costs of modules, which is currently absorbed by US solar consumers and benefits third country cell importers. The SEIA propose this extra cell importing cost premium should be reimbursed into the US solar industry instead.

The SEIA also proposed China end its investigations into US polysilicon trading and phase out anti-dumping and countervailing US duties of up to 50%, as last week China’s Ministry of Commerce imposed anti-dumping subsidies on US imported polysilicon – as well as South Korean imports. Due to the recent reconciliation between the EU and China, no stipulation was placed on EU imports.

Also proposed is a safeguard mechanism to offset surges of Chinese modules into the US, and to establish a solar development institute, funded by Chinese manufacturers, to expand the US solar industry and foster collaboration between China and the US with joint research and development of projects.

The SEIA says the funding solution is a “win-win” scenario that will reduce costs and supply distortion in the US, lower costs to Chinese manufacturers by removing the need to import cells from third party countries, as well as reopening Chinese cell technology to US consumers, benefiting the Chinese industry as well as the US.

The SEIA is adamant any decision must represent consumers and not just industry voices; SEIA said it did not want a similar resolution as that agreed in EU-China dispute, which resulted in a rise in prices.

John Smirnow, SEIA vice president of trade and competitiveness, said a minimum price or quota such as the EU-China trade solution is “a misguided approach”. “Any settlement which includes these components would represent a significant step backwards for the U.S. solar industry and the solar industry globally” he said.

The draft solution is based on a previous trade dispute between the US and Brazil, whereby the US received cheap cotton from Brazil. The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled the US set up a fund to compensate Brazilian farmers. The US currently pays approximately US$150 million to compensate the cotton trade with Brazil.

Earlier this month prominent US solar manufacturer SolarWorld also threatened to pursue legal action over lax policing of current Chinese trading regulations, after complaints a single China-wide duty should have been imposed, rather than individual rates depending on the supplier.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

August 3, 2021
Solar developer Pacifico Energy has started building work on a 121MWdc solar project on the site of a former golf course in Japan, with juwi Shizen Energy hired as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
August 3, 2021
The Australian state of Victoria has unveiled six grid upgrade projects as part of efforts to unlock new renewables investment.
August 3, 2021
AES Indiana, a subsidiary of power distribution company AES Corporation, is planning to acquire and construct a 250MW PV project paired with a 180MWh energy storage facility in Indiana.
August 3, 2021
The government of Serbia has signed an agreement with US company UGT Renewables to cooperate on the construction of solar and energy storage projects in the Balkan country.
August 3, 2021
American solar panel manufacturers Auxin Solar and Suniva have filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to extend a tariff system for cells and modules, despite warnings that it was damaging the US solar industry
August 3, 2021
PV inverter manufacturer SolarEdge Technologies posted record quarterly revenues in Q2, thanks in part to a strong performance in Europe.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021