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U.S. Moves Toward More AD/CV Duties on Solar Cells from China

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. moved closer to imposing additional antidumping and countervailing duties on solar cells from China Feb. 14 following a complaint that earlier AD and CV duty orders are being circumvented by shifting production to Taiwan. Press reports indicate that U.S. imports of solar products from China fell by about 33% after the initial AD and CV duties were imposed in 2012 and that during the same period imports of those goods from Taiwan increased by more than 40%. The case is pitting domestic solar panel manufacturers against installers, who claim they employ more workers and are suffering from the price increases resulting from the existing and potential AD/CV duty orders.

The International Trade Commission announced Feb. 14 its preliminary affirmative AD injury determination on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China and Taiwan and a preliminary affirmative CV injury determination on such products from China. As a result, the International Trade Administration will continue its AD and CV duty investigations, with preliminary determinations due on or about March 26 (CV) and June 9 (AD).

The merchandise covered by these investigations is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates and/or panels consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including building integrated materials. For purposes of this investigation, subject merchandise also includes modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the subject country consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells that are completed or partially manufactured within a customs territory other than that subject country, using ingots that are manufactured in the subject country, wafers that are manufactured in the subject country, or cells where the manufacturing process begins in the subject country and is completed in a non-subject country. Subject merchandise includes crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells of thickness equal to or greater than 20 micrometers, having a p/n junction formed by any means, whether or not the cell has undergone other processing, including cleaning, etching, coating, and/or addition of materials (including metallization and conductor patterns) to collect and forward the electricity that is generated by the cell.

Merchandise covered by these investigations is currently classified in under HTSUS subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.8030, 8507.20.8040, 8507.20.8060, 8507.20.8090, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030 and 8501.31.8000.

Excluded from the scope of these investigations are (1) thin film photovoltaic products produced from amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, or copper indium gallium selenide; (2) any products covered by the existing AD and CV duty orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from China; (3) crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, not exceeding 10,000mm2 in surface area, that are permanently integrated into a consumer good whose function is other than power generation and that consumes the electricity generated by the cell.

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