A statement released on behalf of members of a group that requests tariffs be levied against a handful of Chinese-based solar manufacturers said they were “disappointed” by a Commerce Department decision to reject its petitions. This occurred after the group held firm in its decision to keep its makeup hidden from the public.
“We strongly disagree with Commerce’s rationale for denying proprietary treatment of our identities,” the group said through its law firm, Washington, D.C. based Wiley Rein. It said the government is “well aware of the real risk of retaliation” that members of American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) face from the Chinese government and Chinese competitors. “It is unfortunate that we are being forced to choose between revealing our identities and exercising our trade remedy rights.”
The group said it is “evaluating all options,” including refiling an anti-dumping (AD), anti-circumvention (CVD) petition that would satisfy Commerce Department concerns.
In a November 10 decision, Abdelali Elouaradia, director of the Commerce Department’s AD-CVD office, said that A-SMACC’s insistence to keep the names of its member companies from the public would “prevent Commerce from obtaining and considering” information related to an inquiry.
Elouaradia wrote that “not disclosing A-SMACC members’ names publicly hampers interested parties from fully commenting on the requests for circumvention inquiries and may hamper them from commenting on certain issues that could arise if Commerce were to initiate circumvention inquiries.”
In a statement, Solar Energy Industries Association president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper called the decision to reject the petitions a “major victory for America’s 231,000 solar workers.”
She said the Commerce Department’s decision “provides a rush of certainty for companies to keep their investments moving, hire more workers and deploy more clean energy. This is a critical time for climate progress, and we cannot afford to go backwards at a time when we need to be deploying more clean energy than ever.”
In its November 15 statement, A-SMACC urged Commerce Department officials to consider launching their own circumvention actions and trade cases. The group said it was ready to work with the administration “to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, R&D and supply chains in the critically important solar sector, while meeting our nation’s renewable energy goals.” It said that although U.S. solar manufacturing is recovering, “we should not have to compete with the unfair trade practices of China and Chinese-owned companies.”
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