As we discussed in a previous post, the International Trade Commission (ITC) found that U.S. producers are being seriously injured or are threatened with serious injury by imports of silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. As the case now advances to the remedy phase, companies, countries and trade organizations on all sides of the matter weighed in with their official recommendations for a suggested remedy.

Petitioner, Suniva, lowered the tariff suggestion from its original filing from $0.40 to a minimum of $0.24 per watt for standard crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells, with similar proposals from California-based manufacturer Auxin Solar and Oregon’s SolarWorld Americas.

San Antonio-based Mission Solar stopped short of recommending a tariff, instead suggesting an “economic incentive development program” with the aim of increasing U.S. solar cell manufacturing capacity. California’s SunPower noted that any measure restricting trade would not ultimately benefit U.S. manufacturers. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) also contends that trade-restrictive measures would not achieve the ultimate goal of bolstering U.S. manufacturers and instead endorse direct aid in the form of technical and/or trade-adjustment assistance.

For the most part, including foreign governments, international trade commissions and non-U.S. industry associations all favor excluding their respective countries from any final remedy. A detailed account of each organization’s suggested remedy is listed in the below table.

Party Suggested Remedies
8minutenergy Renewables LLC
  • Support arguments of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and SunPower Corp.
  • Request the Commission recommend that the President utilize federal manufacturing support programs to help domestic industry adjust to import competition.
  • Do not use import restrictions.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and SunPower Corporation
  • Recommend non-trade-restrictive measures, including assistance that takes full advantage of the unique solar resources within the federal government.
Auxin Solar Inc.
  • The Commission should recommend two sets of product-specific price floors covering CSPV cells and CSPV modules.
  • They should also recommend direct adjustment assistance for U.S. producers of CSPV modules.
  • And changes to domestic energy policy that will foster the necessary growth of the entire U.S. CSPV manufacturing sector.
Auxin Solar CSPV cell price floor suggestion
Standard poly CSPV cell $0.24/watt
Standard mono CSPV cell $0.29/watt
Low-efficiency PERC mono CSPV cell $0.35/watt
High-efficiency PERC mono CSPV cell $0.35/watt
P-type Bi-facial mono CSPV cell $0.41/watt
N-type Bi-facial mono CSPV cell $0.41/watt
Auxin Solar CSPV modules price floor suggestion:
Standard poly CSPV cell $0.55/watt
Standard mono CSPV cell $0.60/watt
Low-efficiency PERC mono CSPV cell $0.66/watt
High-efficiency PERC mono CSPV cell $0.66/watt
P-type Bi-facial mono CSPV cell $1.02 /watt
N-type Bi-facial mono CSPV cell $1.02/watt
Shanghai BYD Co., and BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd.
  • Support arguments of China Chamber of Commerce (CCCME) and Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).
  • No trade-restrictive remedy should be imposed.
  • In the event they are recommended, request that the Commission recommend to exclude Frameless Dual Glass Silicon Modules.
Canadian Solar Inc. and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.
  • Recommend that no safeguard remedy shall apply with respect to solar cells and modules imported from Canada.
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Products Branch (CCCME)
  • Adopts and incorporates the arguments of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
  • No trade relief should be imposed in the circumstances of this case.
  • If any relief is to be imposed, the Commission should utilize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (“TAA”) program.
European Commission
  • Only a volume type of measure would be adequate in this case.
  • This could be achieved by a Tariff Rate Quota by which measures would only be applied above the average import of the last three years, established for each individual supplying country.
Goal Zero LLC
  • The Commission should exclude off grid portable small panels.
  • Alternatively, remedies other than import restrictions are best suited in this case for off grid small panels segment.
Government of Brazil
  • The Government of Brazil would like to request that CSVP imports from Brazil be excluded from any provisional or definitive safeguards measure that might be applied as a result of the current investigation, in conformity with Article 9.1 of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.
Government of Canada
  • Canada asks the Commission to recommend to the President that imports from Canada be excluded from the imposition of any safeguard measure.
  • Canada also asks the Commission to confirm that existing NAFTA rules of origin will be applied in the imposition of any safeguard measure in this proceeding.
Government of Indonesia
  • Imports from Indonesia are de minimis and therefore should be exempted from the safeguard investigation
Government of Korea
  • The Korean Government kindly requests that the Commission should not recommend the President a remedy that imposes any serious restrictions on the ability to import.
Government of Mexico
  • We respectfully request that no imposition of safeguards measures takes place.
Government of Taiwan
  • The Commission should exclude Taiwanese cells from any remedy recommendation.
  • The Trade Adjustment Assistance (“TAA”) is the remedy that is best suited to addressing any injury suffered by the U.S. industry.
  • If the Commission decides to impose any restraints on imports of CPSV products, then a quota or tariff-rate quota (TRQ) must be properly tailored so as to minimize adverse effects.
Korea Photovoltaic Industry Association (KOPIA)
  • KOPIA supports the proposal being made by SEIA to use licensing fees or some other mechanism to raise funds to support reinvestment.
  • Trade restrictions will not achieve this objective.
  • If the Commission nevertheless recommends import restrictions, it should recognize that imports from Korea are different, and should be treated differently in any remedy.
Mission Solar Energy LLC
  • If the United States were to establish an “economic incentive development program” for U.S. manufacturers of cells, modules, polysilicon and wafers, for the purpose of helping them develop new or additional U.S. manufacturing capacity, that could indeed be helpful to the U.S. industry
NextEra Energy, Inc.
  • Tariffs, quotas, or tariff-rate quotas will not make a positive adjustment to the domestic industry’s import competition.
REC Solar Pte Ltd
  • The Commission should recommend that any remedy in this proceeding not apply to imports from Singapore.
SolarWorld Americas, Inc.
  • The Commission should recommend four-year specific tariffs and four-year quotas to remedy the serious injury suffered by the domestic industry.
  • The Commission’s proposed remedy should recommend steps to address the potential circumvention of relief through the Free Trade Agreement (“FT A”) partners that were excluded from the Commission’s injury finding, most notably Canada and Singapore.
SolarWorld urges the Commission to recommend a four-year relief program as follows:
Cells: $0.25 per watt and a quota of 0.22 GW in 2018.
Modules: $0.32 per watt and a quota of 5.7 GW in 2018.
Solatube International, Inc.
  • Solatube requests that the Commission exclude from any remedy these Off Grid Portable Small Panels because Solatube uses these panels for its Solar Star attic fans manufactured in the United States.
  • Any remedy should be a remedy other than an import restriction
Suniva, Inc.
  • With respect to tariffs, Suniva recommends a remedy of $0.25 per watt on CSPV cells and $0.32 per watt on CSPV modules.
  • Suniva recommends a minimum floor price of $0.74 per watt.
For the subsequent years of relief Suniva requests the following CSPV cell and module tariff’s:
Year 1 $0.25 per watt for cells $0.32 per watt for modules
Year 2 $0.245 per watt for cells $0.31 per watt for modules
Year 3 $0.24 per watt for cells $0.30 per watt for modules
Year 4 $0.235 per watt for cells $0.29 per watt for modules
For the subsequent years of relief Suniva requests a minimum floor price of:
Year 2 $0.70 per watt
Year 3 $0.66 per watt
Year 4 $0.64 per watt
SunPower Corporation
  • As SEIA recommends, the most appropriate and effective relief for the domestic industry would be direct assistance, in the form of technical assistance, or trade adjustment assistance, or both.
  • Trade-restrictive measures would fail to cure the ills that have plagued Petitioners.
Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association (TPVIA)
  • The Commission should recommend that the President exclude Taiwanese imports of CSPVs from any remedy.
  • If the Commission determines that a remedy determination is warranted, the most appropriate remedy to help the domestic industry and the workers in the industry is to provide them with trade adjustment assistance.
Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. (“Trina”)
  • The Commission should recommend that the President exclude imports of Chinese CSPVs from any remedy.
Vina Solar Technology Co., Ltd. and Boviet Solar Technology Co., Ltd
  • The Commission should recommend that exports from Vietnam be excluded from the application of any safeguard measures, pursuant to Article 9.1 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Safeguards, as Vietnam is a developing country.
  • However, if the Commission chooses to recommend a remedy, then the Commission should recommend trade adjustment assistance.