AAM Statement: Commerce Department Says Foreign Solar Companies Circumvented U.S. Trade Duties

The Commerce Department on Friday announced that a preliminary investigation has concluded that four solar manufacturers with operations in China dodged U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duties by sending products and shifting operations through four Southeast Asian countries. 

The four companies — BYD Hong Kong, Canadian Solar, Trina, and Vina Solar — are “attempting to bypass U.S. duties by doing minor processing in one of the Southeast Asian countries before shipping to the United States,” the agency said. Commerce also announced that “some companies in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam did not respond to Commerce’s request for information in this investigation, and consistent with longstanding practice, will be found to be circumventing.”

A final decision in the investigation is scheduled to be issued by May 1. However, duties cannot be applied to these imports until June 2024 because of a presidential proclamation issued earlier this year that placed a two-year pause on tariffs on solar imports.  

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said:

“It’s unsurprising that the Commerce Department found that solar importers are circumventing trade actions, given what we already knew and the crystal clear evidence.

“While immediate relief for domestic solar manufacturers would be ideal, at the very least there will be duties imposed in the near future. In the meantime, installers, solar manufacturers, and the federal government must turbocharge efforts to build up domestic capacity.

“The United States shouldn’t depend on dumped, subsidized, circumvented, or forced labor-made imports to build our solar energy future.”

California solar manufacturer Auxin Solar petitioned the Commerce Department to conduct the investigation, and CEO Mamun Rashid appeared on The Manufacturing Report podcast to discuss it. You can find the full episode of The Manufacturing Report podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.