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U.S.-China Trade Case

In late 2012, the U.S. imposed punitive tariffs on billions of dollars of solar products from China but turned down pleas to expand the scope of its order to include panels made with non-mainland solar cells. As a result, many mainland model producers began using cells manufactured in Taiwan.

On January 23, 2013, the U.S. trade officials opened new investigations into imports of certain solar power products from China and Taiwan. This move may have a huge impact on the nation’s fast-growing solar market, as well as the bilateral trade relationship between U.S. and China, which is now considered as one of the major trade partner of the former.

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

April 11, 2014 - Seven United States Senators wrote a bipartisan 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, 2014 Due 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, 2014 The 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 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.