SAN JOSE, Calif./PRNewswire/ — Auxin Solar, an American owned, operated and headquartered manufacturer of solar panels, filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to extend safeguard relief for crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells and modules. The safeguard relief was initially established in 2018 to strengthen America’s solar industry and to address the serious injury caused by surging imports. Auxin filed the petition alongside the original petitioner, Suniva, Inc.
“Extending this safeguard is essential for America to reclaim its lead in solar energy manufacturing and development, and it represents a critical step to achieve the broader goal of American renewable energy independence,” said Mamun Rashid, co-founder and chief executive officer at Auxin Solar. “This is about national security and realizing the promise of green energy independence. We believe the Commission should recommend extending the safeguard remedy for another four years to strengthen the domestic solar industry. Auxin Solar is committed to re-shoring the solar supply chain and filed this petition in the hope that policymakers are committed to the promise of green energy independence and the good-paying manufacturing jobs that will result.”
The United States has historically been a leader in the solar industry, but the domestic industry was decimated by a flood of aggressively priced imports that quickly captured market share. After the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on CSPV products from China and Taiwan failed to stop the rapid increase in low-priced imports of CSPV products, the ITC determined in 2017 that CSPV cells and modules were being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic producers. Based on the ITC’s findings, the President imposed tariffs on imported CSPV modules and a tariff-rate quota on imported solar cells.
Without an extension, the safeguard remedy will expire on February 6, 2022. Auxin Solar and Suniva’s extension petition will prompt the ITC to determine whether the safeguard remedy continues to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury and whether there is evidence that the industry is making a positive adjustment to import competition. The ITC will report its determination to the President by December 8, 2021, and at that time the President may choose to extend the safeguard remedy for an additional four years.
The extension of the safeguard remedy is necessary because neither Auxin Solar nor Suniva have been able to complete their plans to positively adjust to import competition. Auxin Solar and Suniva’s investment plans were negatively impacted by stockpiling prior to the establishment of the safeguard, economic headwinds caused by COVID-19, China’spredatory pricing, and a loophole in the remedy that allowed excluded modules to be imported in high volumes and at cut-rate prices. These combined challenges meant that the safeguard did not have the desired effect to allow companies like Auxin Solar and Suniva to recover from the serious injury caused by imports.
Auxin, a manufacturer of solar modules based in California, participated in the original safeguard investigation and the mid-term monitoring review. Georgia-based Suniva was the original petitioner for safeguard relief and participated in the ITC’s mid-term monitoring review.
The Solar Energy Industries Association takes an opposing stance to Auxin Solar, claiming in a 2019 study that the tariffs have led to more than 62,000 lost jobs and a loss of $19 billion in new investments.