US Solar Firms Urge Biden Admin to Apply Tariffs on Southeast Asian Imports

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 25, 2024 05:41 AM EDT

Roger Garbey and Andres Hernandez (L-R), from the Goldin Solar company, install a solar panel system on the roof of a home a day after the Trump administration announced it will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad on January 23, 2018 in Palmetto Bay, Florida.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The United States' solar sector is reportedly facing competition from low-priced imports from four Southeast Asian countries -- Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Thus, a coalition of American solar manufacturers has petitioned the government to tax these imported goods.

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Southeast Asian Nations Allegedly Selling Solar Cells at Rates Below Manufacturing Costs

According to a CNBC report, seven American manufacturers allege solar cell importers from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are selling their products to the US at rates below manufacturing costs or are receiving subsidies.

First Solar, Convalt Energy, Meyer Burger, Mission Solar, Qcells, REC Silicon, and Swift Solar are the seven petition signatories.

These manufacturers have petitioned the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to rule that the country's solar sector has suffered damage. Their proposed solution involves the imposition of taxes on solar cells imported from the aforementioned four nations.

China is home to many of the companies that might be the focus of investigations by the ITC and the Department of Commerce. The seven solar firms claim that factories in Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand are receiving subsidies from the Chinese government as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.

In an August 2023 news release, the Commerce Department found that Chinese solar product manufacturers are exporting via Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to dodge tariffs.

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