SEIA update on International Trade Commission (ITC)

Dear SEIA Members,

This morning, the International Trade Commission (ITC) held its vote on the proper remedy in the Suniva 201 trade case on crystalline silicon cells and modules. We quickly issued this statement to the press after the commissioners made their recommendations. As you may have read in the press, the four commissioners made three different recommendations on how to resolve this case. Here is the ITC’s statement with commissioners’ remarks linked in the document.

It was a good morning for us in several respects, though there is much work to be done.

  1. None of the commissioners recommended even half of what the Petitioners, Suniva and SolarWorld, asked for in terms of tariffs.
  2. None of the commissioners recommended a specific tariff (i.e. 30 cents per watt). Rather, the three that did recommend a tariff recommended an ad valorem tariff (a percentage of the cost of the cell or module at the border).
  3. None of the commissioners recommended a hard quota (i.e. no more product could be imported into the U.S. at any price after a certain level is reached) combined with a tariff.
  4. One commissioner embraced the SEIA proposal that reinvests funds into the domestic industry using a small import fee.

Even at levels below what the petitioners wanted, we still think the tariffs proposed would hurt our industry and will continue to advocate voraciously for the import fee proposal. But it’s a great starting point for negotiations with the Administration. This would never have been possible without your continued membership in and support for SEIA.

Our focus shifts now to the Trump Administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, who will be holding a public hearing on December 6th. We are re-doubling our efforts on communications, research and direct lobbying to ensure that decision-makers at the White House are well aware of the potential impacts of trade restrictions on the U.S. economy.

You’ll be hearing from me and my team over the coming days and weeks about how to continue supporting our efforts in this case. While today’s vote was a mixed bag, our dedication to a positive resolution has not changed. We’ll be hard at work over the next couple of months, and we look forward to collaborating with you to reach a successful outcome.

If you have any questions about the specific details of today’s vote, or about the next steps in the case, send us an email at tradequestions@seia.org.

Sincerely,

Abigail Ross Hopper
President & CEO
Solar Energy Industries Association

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