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International Trade

Free trade and open markets encourage deployment of solar power worldwide.  SEIA recognizes that growth in the global supply chain benefits both American manufacturers and consumers.  Increased tariffs on solar energy products and allegations of dumping reflect the challenges of a maturing industry. The United States, China, and all economies will realize the benefits of solar power through fair competition and free trade.  

SEIA works to inform member companies, the public, and policymakers about the advantages of international trade in solar energy.  We support and advocate for a fair and transparent global trading system.  In order to accomplish these goals, SEIA monitors ongoing international trade disputes in solar photovoltaic products.  

SEIA's Response to New Trade Investigations (February 5, 2014)

Concerned of a ripple effect across the entire U.S. solar energy industry, Rhone Resch, SEIA's president and CEO, has warned SEIA’s membership that the worsening solar dispute between the United States and China threatens the future progress of solar energy in America.

Recent Developments

February 10, 2014 - The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) re-activates with the launch of a new website.

December 31, 2013 - SolarWorld files new antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against various solar products from China and Taiwan.

April 2, 2013 - John Smirnow, SEIA’s Vice President of Trade and Competitiveness, has been designated Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC).  As the federal government’s top advisory committee on renewable energy and energy efficiency, RE&EEAC advises the Secretary of Commerce on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the competitiveness of U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.  See designation letter here.

February 5, 2013 - Canada filed an appeal on Feb. 5 with the WTO, challenging the Dispute Panel ruling that the domestic content provisions of Ontario's feed-in-tariff (FIT) program violate WTO rules. 

January 23, 2013 - A copy of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Final Determination in the AD/CVD case is availabe here

January 4, 2013 - SolarWorld filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of International Trade challenging the U.S. International Trade Commission’s negative critical circumstances determination.  A copy of the summons is available here.

November 27, 2012 - India has initiated an antidumping duty investigation against crystalline silicon and thin film solar cells and modules from the U.S., China, Malaysia, and Taiwan.  See notice of initiation here.

November 7, 2012 - The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) affirmed injury and imposed AD/CVD duties collectively ranging from 22.5 to 255.4 percent on solar cells and modules from China. The ITC also determined that the AD/CVD duties will not apply retroactively.  More on the ITC case.

October 10, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Commerce issued final determinations in the solar AD/CVD investigation.  The DOC affirmed its preliminary finding that Chinese-origin crystalline-silicon cells are subject to antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) when imported into the U.S.  The AD rates applied at the border range from 7.78 to 21.19% for participating respondents and 239.42% for non-participants.  The CVD rates applied at the border range from 14.78 to 15.97%. The AD and CVD rates will be applied collectively.  For additional information, see Commerce’s AD/CVD Fact Sheet, AD Decision Memorandum, CVD Decision Memorandum, draft AD Federal Register notice, and draft CVD Federal Register notice.

See more at Current Trade Disputes

Collaboration on International Trade

Increasing tension in the global solar industry threatens to slow the rapid deployment of solar energy products.  Solar energy is a proven technology, and escalating trade conflicts will have broader implications as the world is on the cusp of widespread adoption of solar.

Building consensus on government best practices, including acceptable forms of industry support, can help reduce trade barriers and ultimately increase the adoption of solar worldwide.  

SEIA has responded to increased litigation over solar trade policies by advocating for collaboration among nations and international stakeholders.  We have been working with leading trade associations, governments, and organizations to promote positive dialogue.  

Read about some of our initiatives here: Collaboration on International Trade

Local Content Provisions

As countries look to strengthen their clean energy sector in the wake of the recession, many existing government programs and those under consideration have begun to include some kind of local content requirement.  SEIA is monitoring the development of local content provisions and will work to decrease these trade barriers to strengthen exports of U.S. solarp products. Learn more about local content provisions.