Issues & Policies

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Local Content Provisions

Local content provisions are used to boost domestic manufacturing and jobs by requiring that a certain percentage of local goods and services are used in renewable energy projects to be eligible for government support.

Local content provisions are generally considered trade-distorting measures and are prohibited under the rules of the WTO.  Local content provisions inhibit the free flow of solar products and disadvantage foreign producers who wish to benefit from government programs by effectively blocking out their imports.

SEIA works to decrease trade barriers for our member companies, and local content provisions or requirements are a clear impediment to open markets and free trade. Because local content provisions for the solar industry are a recent trend (many are currently being developed or under consideration), our role is to monitor the development of these policies and inform our members, the public and policymakers about the negative effects of local content provisions.

Recent Updates

April 11, 2014 - Seven United States Senators wrote a bipartizan letter to Vice President Joseph Biden, calling for a negotiated settlement to resolve the ongoing solar trade dispute with China. Read the Letter (pdf)

March 11, 2014Due to the number and complexity of the countervailable subsidy practices being investigated in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from China, the U.S Department of Commerce postponed the due date for the preliminary determination to June 2, 2014. Read the Notice (pdf).

February 15, 2014The United States International Trade Commission determines that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports from China and Taiwan of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products. Read more.

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. 

December 19, 2012 - The WTO Dispute Settlement body approved a panel report on Ontario’s green energy feed-in-tariff program. The report holds that the local content provisions in the program violate two provisions of the WTO.  

Resources on Local Content Provisions

International Energy Agency Renewable Energy Policies Database - A joint project of the IEA and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is a searchable database that covers renewable energy support programs across the globe.

PV-Tech Tariff Watch - A resource for feed-in-tariff programs across the globe, including those with local content provisions