US governors pressure Biden, Raimondo to expedite solar AD/CVD review

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During an hearing committee, Commerce Secretary Raimondo assured the investigation “was going as fast as possible”. Image: Unsplash.

A bipartisan group of US governors have pressured the President Joe Biden and Gina Raimondo to expedite the anti-dumping circumvention investigation (AD/CVD).

In a letter signed by 19 US governors, US President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo were asked to expedite a preliminary determination and an economic analysis of the impact retroactive actions would have on the industry following the alleged circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) by solar manufacturers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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“This decision has created market uncertainty that threatens thousands of clean energy jobs and the deployment of solar projects across the nation,” the letter reads.

“The current market disruption jeopardizes much of the progress achieved by the domestic solar industry and we fear this will only continue for the duration of the investigation. Almost immediately, solar prices have jumped because of dramatic drops in solar product imports, threatening the livelihoods of more than 230,000 American workers who rely on solar jobs and raising energy costs on families.”

The full text of the letter can be seen here.

During a commerce committee in late April, senator Jacky Rosen pressed secretary Raimondo to expedite the preliminary determination to which the secretary replied “my hands are very tied here” and that her department was required by statute to investigate the claim raised by Auxin Solar.

Senator Rosen was among a bipartisan group of 22 senators that earlier this month wrote to President Biden “strongly urging” the administration to quickly review the case and similar to this letter warned that “the investigation is already negatively impacting the U.S. solar industry”.

In a more recent committee last week, the secretary replied to a question from senator Brian Schatz that “there is nothing that prevents us from going faster, and I assure you we are going as fast as possible,” without cutting any corners.

Earlier this week, eight PV manufacturers, among them JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Hanwha Q CELLS were selected from the Department of Commerce (DOC) to provide more information on their operations in the four countries concerned by the AD/CVD investigation.

Moreover, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has raised her concern about the country’s ability to reach a carbon-free power sector by 2035 if the investigation did not come to a quick resolution.

US solar developers are already facing widespread module shipment delays and cancelations amidst the uncertainty of a possible retroactive tariff of up to 250% from the DOC if it finds evidence of circumvention. With projects slowing down, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has found that the investigation will result in a drop of 24GW of solar capacity in the next two years.

7 November 2023
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