On May 23, 2017, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) initiated an investigation in response to Suniva Inc.’s recent petition under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. As noted in our alert earlier this week, Suniva contends the US solar industry has been injured by import competition and has requested that a floor price and additional duty be imposed on imported solar cells and modules. The Commission has scheduled the hearing on injury to take place on August 15, 2017. If necessary, a hearing on the proposed form of remedy will be held on October 3, 2017.

The ITC has designated the investigation as “extraordinarily complicated,” and will make its injury determination no later than September 22, 2017. If the ITC makes a determination of no injury, the case will terminate. If the ITC makes an affirmative injury determination, it will recommend a proposed form of relief to the President by November 13, 2017. The President would then make the final decision on what type of relief to provide.

Diverging points of view within the US solar industry suggest there will be vigorous opposition to Suniva’s petition from both domestic and import interests. If Section 201 relief is imposed, US solar developers are likely to face significantly higher prices for solar cells and modules.

For more information on the potential impacts to the US solar industry and the Section 201 process, see the Eversheds Sutherland Legal Alert: Solar Industry Import Drama Continues.